Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

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Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Yes, You*

According to Guinness World Records, the smelliest substances on earth are the human-made "Who-Me?" and "U.S. Government Standard Bathroom Malodor," which have five and eight chemical ingredients respectively.

“Bathroom Malodor” was developed by chemists in the U.S. as a way of testing the effectiveness of deodorants and air fresheners. It emits an incredibly unpleasant odor that resembles human feces and becomes unbearable at a mere 2 parts per million. “It’s very pungent,” explains Paul Dalton of the Model Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. “It fills your head and gets to you in ways that are unimaginable.” (I love that description.) ”Who-Me?,” on the other hand, has a different but equally overwhelming stench. The sulphur-based substance smells of rotting food and carcasses. It was originally developed during the Second World War when it was hoped French resistance fighters would be able to humiliate and embarrass German soldiers by making them smell horrific. (Leave it to the French, with their love of perfume, to equate smelling bad with humiliation. Last time I was in Paris the city was crammed with humiliated people. To be fair, it was 105 degrees Fahrenheit.) The idea came to nothing since it was impossible to properly target the smell – instead, it ended up polluting large areas. (Big surprise.)

The U.S. Government has now resumed a program to look at possible military applications of these substances. It’s hoped they could be modified and used as giant stink bombs to disperse rioting crowds or to keep warring factions apart. (In the meantime, they could use a concentrated version of Clinique Aromatics Elixir, a scent that would smell wonderful in a concentration of 2 parts per million but unfortunately is not sold that way.)

*This post dedicated to Jonna.


Blogger cjblue said...

Need I remind you, young lady, that when I personally sent you a sample vial (of Clinique Aromatics Elixir) labeled "Guess what I am." you guessed Serge Lutens' Rose a la Nuit.

1:45 PM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger WinterWheat said...

LOL! You got me, but I stand by my rant. You should know that once when I was in a department store I smelled this heavenly aroma near the Clinique counter. I asked what it was and they said someone had sprayed AE a few hours (yes, HOURS) earlier. I absolutely love the stuff in teensy concentrations (like the tiny dab I got from your sample vial), but can't STAND it sprayed full-strength from the bottle. It's all concentration, like the indole molecule in jasmine: tiny bit = heaven; more than that = poop. :-D

2:54 PM, January 19, 2006  
Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

A gold mine (or land mine) depending upon how one looks at it for a sensualist.

6:33 PM, January 19, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But I want a column dedicated to ME, daddy!


--giant vat

3:21 AM, January 20, 2006  
Anonymous Jonna said...

You think I could get a job in the military? Should I enlist?

I just showed Adam this post, and he replied, "Dude, if anyone could do it, you could. I think you've found your calling."

Thanks for the shout out. I loved this.

10:52 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger katiedid said...

Fascinating. I love the names, especially the "Who-Me?" Heh.

Though I would love to know exactly which air fresheners are being tested with this "Malodor," because every single one I've ever smelled only serves to make the bathroom malodor seem sweeter. It's like, sure, it really does smell like Mountain Wild Flowers, but unfortunately, those wild flowers are growing on a mountain of sewer run-off.

3:16 PM, January 27, 2006  

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