Today I was walking through Victoria Station on my way to see my chiropractor and I caught a whiff of cooking that took me right back to my childhood. It was not an overly pleasant smell but it immediately transported me back to being around 8 or 9 when my great aunt used to take me and my sister shopping – treating us to a cake (always cherry pie for me) in British Home Stores cafe. Something I’ve never had reason to think of – bizarre.
On returning home I saw this article from The Guardian about a prototype portable headspace machine that could potentially be used to capture your favourite smells. It’s a technique used in the fragrance industry for creating new odour profiles but it would be amazing to have as an everyday gadget 😀
You place the funnel over the object or environment you wish to capture, then a pump sucks the air across an odour trap made of Tenax – a porous polymer resin which adsorbs the volatile particles that make up the smell. It can take anything from a few minutes to capture the scent of fresh strawberries, to around 24 hours to store the more subtle aroma of an atmosphere. Slowing us down and tuning our senses is part of Radcliffe’s aim.
If you had one of these machines, what smells would you capture and why? Let me know in the comments below!