Scientists have come together with British firm to make a perfume mimicking the smell of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk.
The European Space Agency (ESA) landed on the comet in 2014 and it’s the agency that commissioned the perfume.
When Rosetta spacecraft along with Philae lander arrived at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk two years ago and sampled the chemicals there, it discovered that the comet smelled pretty bad. The combination of natural gases such as ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, hydrogen and cyanide has made the atmosphere of the comet reminiscent of rotten eggs, cat urine and bitter almonds.
But the rotting smell of the comet wasn't disliked by Rosetta mission team at all. They teamed up with The Aroma Company to create a perfume based on the smell of Rosetta’s comet.
It was made at the request of members of the Rosetta mission team and Colin Snodgrass, a researcher at the Open University in Milton Keynes, UK.
Currently, the perfume is not available to the public but few people including a New Scientist reporter had the chance to smell it and he described it as a “sharp” and “unpleasant smell” invading the nostrils. But he had to change his opinion as he smelled again and again.
“Most of the coma is water vapour, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and they don’t smell of anything. We’ve picked the things that are the smelliest,” Snodgrass told New Scientist.
“If you could smell a comet, this is what you would get, but it would be difficult to actually smell it. If you are standing there without your space suit, you’re not going to notice the smell, you’re just going to notice the lack of air,” Snodgrass added.
“Surprisingly, it’s not actually as foul as my first impression led me to believe – somehow a few floral notes are coming through.” Jacob Aaron, New Scientist reporter said.
Rosetta mission team is planning to hand out postcards with a scent at Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in July.