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Good and bad chemical smells, list yours


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Doesn't remind me of chlorine at all. It reminds me of the smell of a thunderstorm and the smell of an x-ray machine. (Probably because both of those things result in the production of a good deal of ozone).

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thunderstorm, the sea side, X-ray machines not a prob... I`m on about Ozone! not the tiny no entities that exist in those 3, I mean a gob full! :(


Color TV, HT leads will do it if you hang around them long enough during a mend, mega headache! a direct lightening hit stinks of Chlorine too (it`s Ozone).



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Anyone ever smell oxygen? *Pure* Oxygen? Delightful.


Chlorine...agh, I don't mind but my family does. I was electrolizing some saltwater couple of months ago and I left it overnight in my room. Door closed. Good thing my mom smelled it, came in and disassembled the apparatus.

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Call me crazy, but I like the smell of Sulphur Dioxide. Not a big whiff, mind you, but just a small amount, like when you light a match. I got a big whiff once, and my nose tingled for hours.


I also like the smell of ammonia, but again, only a little whiff.

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Im not sure wat the stuff was, but wen i was making my iodine there was like this brownish liquid and it smelled like chlorine but a bit differently that made it smell worse. i think it was HI or some chlorine compound

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good: ozone



bad: whatever causes that sterile hospital smell


That sterile hospital smell is an odd concoction of ozone, chlorine, nitrogen oxides, organic ethers, etc. etc. from the sterilization/cleaning solutions that are used, the high electrical discharges from the x-ray and other high powered analytical machines, and various other things being used in a hospital.

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Off the top of my head.




Eucalyptus, this is beautiful.

Fresh warm pine cones and needles.

And the aromatic compounds from lavender. (I don't know the names of these)

Berry esters? Raspberry, Blueberry, Strawberry, especially lingon. Mmmm.

Citric acid.


The smell of new washing machine,(I put my head inside the new washing machine as a kid, and took a breath, very nice(mainly rubber I think)).


Not sure good/bad:

Isopropyl initially smells pleasant to me but smells more unpleasant over time and then ceases to have any odour.


Isopropyl can do some funny things to you if you use it in a confined spaces, dizzyness, and some interference with walking reflexes and alteration of perception, not sure what, just different, somehow, like a change in the light fortunately it's as brief as it is potent, you don't notice it until you pull your head out of the midi tower, and get up, then it hits you like a blood pressure drop, woooooh. Most unpleasant.



Cloudy ammonia, (urg, puke, hurl).

Chlorine, more a coughing fit.

The compouinds produced by the bacteria in chicken shit, when exposed to damp/wet straw and mud and agitated by the pattern of little feet. (urg, puke, hurl, reetch)

The smell from a freshly unwrapped videotape, unpleasant.

The compound produced by decomposing fish.


Vapourised metals(when the microwave broke and about an inch hole was burnt out of the floor of it before the fuse blew) really dreadful acrid bitter taste, like I imagine eating ash would taste, stings your eyes and catches at your throat. Not wanting to find out white inhaling fine metal particles into the lung can do I ran in(holding breath) opened a few windows and ran out.


Ketones, unpleasant but not hideous.

Malena <-- Nuff said.




P.S. Looking back on it might have been some ozone in the microwave incident too.

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The smell from a freshly unwrapped videotape, unpleasant.


I agree with this. That smell has always made me nauseous.


ethanediol smells good. Good enough to drink. Of course, that's a terrible idea, unless your intention is to commit suicide.

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Guest RoubraB

Tetrahydrocannabinol & co, the ultimate olfactory WAAAGGH. (A bud in the hand may be worth two on the bush... but it doen't smell so nice!)


the lake district (damp earthyleafyfungal stuff).




cat shit disturbed by the flymo




An old friend with infamous feet, not being one to pass on a unique experience i once sniffed them and the smell actually stung my nose (why buy ammonia when you can make your own) :eek:

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Don't do much pure chemical stuff, but.. I used to like ethanol in junior high, before I started drinking. In college, not so much. Now, meh. Even though it can't be possible, I swear I can tell the difference between ethanol from the molecular lab I used to work at and the immunology lab I work at now. Does anyone know if ACS/USP grade ethanol (the stuff from the molecular lab, which should be more pure) has those additives that keep 12 year-olds from drinking it.


Still like isopropanol and ether, don't like formaldehyde and phenol. Loved banana oil - organic chem practical - even though everybody else hated it. Since I work in bio, it's kind of disturbing the things that strike your fancy. I was doing a big 2 liter E coli culture for competent cells while I was hungry one day. I thought "That smells exactly like chicken noodle soup! Mmmmm" - meanwhile, it was a big flask of bacteria. Mice (not their droppings) and algae smell good. Fruit flies don't.

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Well, whatever chemicals that smell good or bad, I notice that some of the chemicals listed are highly poisonous. I do not recommend smelling it on purpose.

For instance, fluorine smells horrible - but don't even dare to try it!


How about arsine - some say smell like rotten garlic - but DON'T ever try it! Such gaseous chemical in the quantity of ppm is enough to prove fatal!!

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Reading this thread was a real pleasure. :D

May I have the honour of directing your collective attention to the fact that "Good and Bad" is a psychological verdict?

Naturally there are some hardwired reactions in our brains, and here are some of them for the interested.


1- We prefer oxidizing odours over reducing odours because we need oxygen to breath into our blood by exchange mechanism. This rule of thumb is very general and could hardly have any exceptions.

Mint (menthol) is translated as cold!

All aromatic, alcohols and some ketones and very few aldehydes are pleasant while most organic and inorganic acids are pungently repulsive due to its corrosive effect on the lungs.

2- Thus similar to the first rule, we tend to favour the reduced forms (subject to oxidations) over the oxidised forms (subject to reduction); and we favour water over strong deviations from pH = 7.

3- Bitter, sour and sweet are tastes that mingle with odours of almond, lemon, and vanilla, and they proved to be desirable and not offensive.

4- Unsaturated compounds are favoured over saturated compounds, such as benzene over hydrocarbons such as gasoline.

5- Most of the poisons and harmful chemicals that escape from the above classes are offensive when they have odours.

6- There remains one group of conditional indifference such as amino acids that offend some people while are a pleasure for others. And while all organic compounds with smell, made of 4 carbon atoms offend me, some may not mind it. It is a cultural adaptive reaction, where one is used to the smell of his home while a guest might ask for opening the windows before fainting. :D

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