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Based on inputs of astronauts, this chemist concocted a perfume that smells exactly like outer space

Eau de Space is unlikely to ever break into the top 10 in the $50 billion world fragrance market.

ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jun 30, 2020, 08.46 AM IST
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Trainees are not meant to daub the scent on their wrists and behind their ears before going for a walk in space.
Trainees are not meant to daub the scent on their wrists and behind their ears before going for a walk in space.
A fragrance that smells of outer space should be, well, heavenly. That must be why the chemist who concocted this aroma — based on inputs by astronauts who had returned from space trips — is now seeking crowdfunding to make it available to a wider market instead of just Nasa trainees. Trainees are not meant to daub the scent on their wrists and behind their ears before going for a walk in space: it has been used for over a decade to accustom them to what the smell out there might be like so that they are not taken by surprise.

Residual odours on spacesuits, spacecraft and shuttle airlocks combined with the estimated scents of elements and gaseous compounds swirling around in the galaxy were presumably synthesised into what is now being called Eau de Space.

Obviously, astronauts had not poked their noses out of spacesuits to smell the air as space is a vacuum, and they would not have survived to tell the tale had they done so. But given their inputs — burnt meat, metal, raspberries and gunpowder are among the descriptions — Eau de Space is unlikely to ever break into the top 10 in the $50 billion world fragrance market.

No wonder it is being targeted at teaching institutions rather than scentimental space cadets. As lunar dust has been found to be odourless, his next launch, apparently called Smell of the Moon, could prove to be more fanciful.

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13 Jan, 2020
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