December 2, 2010
‘Perfumery Radar’ Brings Order To Odors
Scientists are announcing development and successful testing of the first "perfumery radar (PR)." It's not a new electronic gadget for homing in on the source of that Eau de Givenchy or Jungle Tiger in a crowded room. Rather, PR is a long-awaited new tool for bringing scientific order to the often arbitrary process of classifying the hundreds of odors that make-up perfumes. A report on the advance appears in ACS' journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
AlÃrio Rodrigues and colleagues note that the typical perfume has 50-100 fragrant ingredients. Experts who make perfumes have long described those ingredients with highly subjective terms like "floral," "citrus," "woody," and "oriental." Many different classification systems have been proposed, but they still leave perfumers describing the same smell with different words that often are arbitrary.
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