British scientists have created a perfume that mimics the smell of a comet's surface. As a perfume, the scent is really out of this world — because it smells like cat's pee and rotten eggs. Clearly, it's not something people might want to wear on a date, but it sure is interesting.
During the Rosetta probe mission in 2014, the European Space Agency's (ESA) Philae lander was supposed to attach itself on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko so it can hitch a ride into deeper space.
Sadly, the Rosetta probe bounced and is now billions of miles away from Earth and ESA's touch. Thinking positive, the scientists decided to make the most out of the data the Philae lander gathered. Through chemical analysis, they created a perfume that smells like the comet's surface, even if it smells like cat's pee and rotten eggs.
According to Jacob Aron, a writer from New Scientist who was able to sample the cosmic cologne, he almost "[felt] the smell as a physical presence inside [his] skull."
"The full heft of 67P's bouquet hits me in the face. Surprisingly, it's not actually as foul as my first impression led me to believe — somehow a few floral notes are now coming through," wrote Aron.
Geraint Jones from the University College London (UCL), who took some delivered samples home, said that he found the scent similar to lily.
Colin Snodgrass, a researcher from The Open University in Milton Keynes in the UK, added that the comet-smelling perfume is "not that bad."
"We have a bunch of postcards impregnated with this," he says.
The cosmic perfume was developed by The Aroma Company, following the request of Snodgrass as well as other members of the Rosetta probe mission. They will be handing out samples at the Royal Society summer exhibition in London in July, where people can get samples of the foul-smelling cosmic perfume.
The Aroma Company is also behind the perfume that makes wearers smell like toast. The "Eau de Toast" was created to remind women that they're missing a lot when they skimp on bread or avoid breakfast. Now that's something people can wear on a date.
"[T]he Federation of Bakers decided to leverage the hugely appetizing and tempting aroma of freshly made toast as part of a unique marketing campaign," wrote The Aroma Company on their website.
First observed in 1969, the comet was named after the scientists who discovered it, Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko.