A company wants to create a perfume that smells like space

Hyperaxion Jul 2, 2020

Perfume will be created based on reports given by astronauts, who described everything from bad smells, such as burnt steak, to a sweet mixture of raspberry and rum.

You may never have stopped to think that space has a smell – and it is quite weird, being described as a mixture of burnt steak and hot metal. But if someone is interested in the cosmic scent, it will be available on the market soon.

A company wants to create a perfume that smells like space
(Credit: Eau de Space / Kickstarter).

In 2008, NASA hired Steven Pearce, a food scientist and managing director of fragrance manufacturing company Omega Ingredients, and instructed him to recreate the smell of space. The goal was not to sell it, but to help make astronaut training programs even more realistic, providing a complete sensory experience of the space environment.

Astronauts who have gone to space described the smell to Pearce. “The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation,” described former International Space Station (ISS) officer Don Pettit, in a blog in 2003.

Other smells have also been reported, including that of lunar dust, which smells like “spent gunpowder“, and a dust cloud with a fragrance of “raspberry and rum”, which is caused by the presence of ethyl formate (C3H6O2) near the center of our galaxy.

Pearce’s formula remained secret for years, but due to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the recipe was recently revealed to Matt Richmond, manager of Eau de Space, the company that will launch the perfume on the market. In search of support, the company created a page on Kickstarter to raise funds. So far, more than $200,000 have been donated to the project.

In a post thanking its funders, Eau de Space revealed some of the suggested names for the product, including “A Space Eau-de-ssey”, “Elon’s Musk” and “Space Scent Juice”.

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