A British firm has developed a perfume that replicates the smell of a comet’s surface.
Perfume samples of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, courtesy of the Rosetta mission, will be released within a week during London’s Royal Society summer exhibition.
It’s advised, however, that people avoid wearing this scent for an important date. Why?
Its smell is said to be reminiscent of bitter almonds, cat urine, and rotten eggs.
Jacob Aron of New Scientist – who previewed the scent – said the smell caused him to feel like there was something physically present in his head. He said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be, however, and there’s even a little floral in the mix.
Colin Snodgrass with Open University in Milton Keynes proposed the scent, and it was The Aroma Company who developed it.
The smell is the result of a mixture of ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, and hydrogen sulphide. These ingredients are deadly, which is why the developers had to carefully find a way to replicate the scent.
The Philae lander, which was launched over a decade ago, landed on the comet in November 2014 and sent readings about the comet’s compounds back to earth.
The European Space Agency vehicle carried out several experiments, but, since the solar driven batteries were in the shade, the vehicle lost its power. As the comet approached the sun in June, the vehicle re-awoke, leading scientists to hope they could complete several experiments.
The German Aerospace Center announced in February, however, that the Philae may not be able to function properly due to extreme cold and dust.