# Good and bad chemical smells, list yours

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well i read it in the book called "darwin awards", but theres alot like 4 of them. im pretty sure its true, but maybe exagerated.

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It can't be true. The human body does not produce methane in the quantities that would be required to asphyxiate the individual. In addition, there is no way that a hotel room would be air tight and not allow any air to get in, or any air to get out. The hazards with methane are also more in terms of flammability than in terms of toxicology. I honestly don't believe that methane is toxic at all, though I'd have to look that information up before conclusively saying so.

Anyway, there is no possible way for that story to be true. It simply cannot physically happen. (Remember, chemistry is used a lot to exaggerate stories and make things up as the people who make these false stories assume that the people reading them have zero knowledge about science and chemistry).

To further prove the falsity of this claim, click here. (God I love snopes. )

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we have no mechanism to breakdown or assimilate Methane, you could survive in an Explosive mixture of it, providing there was enough oxygen to suport you.

which isnt really saying much when you consider that an explosive mixture of the 2 has quite an overlap in Ratio

darn

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from my understanding, propane isnt that toxic either.

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i like trhe smell of cigarettes, but i dont smoke em

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i like the smell of chloroform its very strange slightly sweet... however the most disurbingly disgusting thing to smell is this small puddel of water behind our trash cans that combines the smell of maggoty rotten meat and rotten vegetables. we actually had one of the cleaners vomit in his gas mask from the odor

lol

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lol- mexicans were never known for haveing strong stomachs

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Vomiting mechanism is not triggered from the stomach only. Although it probably evolved as a mechanism for expelling ingested poisons, vomiting may result from many causes not related to poisoning, ranging from gastritis to brain tumours. The feeling that one is about to vomit is called nausea. It usually, but not necessarily, precedes vomiting, nor does it always lead to vomiting. Antiemetics are sometimes necessary to suppress nausea and vomiting. The medical branch investigating vomiting, emetics and antiemetics is called emetology.

irritation of pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, duodenum; or stretch of the muscular layer of the stomach or duodenum. Either mechanism evokes normal reflex arc to produce vomiting.

Therefore, the common saying is short of truth.

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It may have been said already, but another nasty smell is the smell of burning human hair/flesh. I was remembered of this foul odor yesterday. I recently had my hair cut down to the typical buzzed look that I sport, and decided to go play golf but without my hat. (As before my hair was just long enough to provide me with some protection). I forgot the hat and played out in the blazing sun for about 3.5 hours. I now have a VERY vicious sunburn on my scalp, and when I went in the shower the odor of burned hair and burned flesh filled the room. BLECH!

OMG!

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• 2 weeks later...

I must admit I am in NO way a chemical expert-- (I'm actually a Financial Planner!). This is VERY "offline" for your columng, but maybe one of you can help me...

I was "Googling" trying to find a reasonable medical explanation for a strange craving I've had for the past 5 months. Out of the blue, I desire the smell of toxic chemicals such as petrol (gasoline), white-out fluid, etc.

No I'm not talking about "getting high" from these substances. Usually one or two sniffs will satisfy me (at least for a few hours).

Why on earth I've developed this strange desire is beyond me-- but it's driving me crazy (not to mention that I know it's terribly unhealthy).

I've spoken to my internist & he just laughed (ignorant man!)

Being Chemical "experts", do you have any clue what could be triggering these symptoms?

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good:

Ethylacetate

Acetone

Gasoline

The smell of new paper

Ethanol

butanoic acid(once in my school some students poured that out on purpose, so the whole school smelled like vomit, and we were sent home:D)

SO2

H2S

hydrochloric acid

ammonia

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Does anyone here like the smell of acetylene?

I find its bad smelling, but does not choke me up like sulfur dioxide.

If any of you noticed i was gone for over a week, well, good for you.

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The worst thing I have smelled is POCl3. There was no smell, just an intense burning pain up my nose, my face became violet, black and red. A friend thought I was going to faint. I never did, but the pain was tremendous. The smell was distorted in a strange way, everything smelled like dirty soil. Totally awful. it took about 4 hour before the pain had gone, and the smell was totally recovered.

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Ive recently had oportunity to smell Valeric acid, everyones quite right, it Stinks!

my Vallerian plant recent went to flower and then seed, the flowers smell ok, sort of like ground white pepper, but when you dry the seeds in a paper bag in a shed (esp in the heat that weve had lately), I partly regreted it, esp as I only discovered where the smell was coming from AFTER Ide had my hand in the bag taking the dry stems off

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i have new horrible smell on my list... my mom bought this photopaper that when ink is printed on it it smells like rotten fish guts and some form of bleach... works like smelling salt when your out cold or like ipechac ( if i spelled i right) when your awake... however the garbage water still stunk... ive got a vial of it if anyone wants a sample for stinkbombs

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• 4 months later...

To me, the best chemical smell by far is naphthalene!

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To me, the best chemical smell by far is naphthalene!

youre evidently Not an insectoid (specificaly a Moth) then

personaly I find it quite ordinary, nothing to like/dislike about it.

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I have discovered that a subtle combination of H2Se and HNO3 vapors, when mixed together, is absolutely nauseating. Uggh! I have a bit of some red selenium that was made, but some of the remnant acid vapors remained in the powder so when I opened up the cap of the vial, the odor just knocked me back a good deal. Nasty stuff.

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real rotten potato; real rotten uncooked eggs, ethyl mercaptan used to be the guinness book's world's worst smell(cannot verify this); my farts after eating broccoli 6-12 hours before; my fly trap that's been primed with fish head matter after a few days of flies;

Anyone lnow how to make HCN small quantities from natural procts to experience it?...I'm guessing Almonds in an acidic environment?

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dont make the HCN- you're tempting fate.

i'm sure sarin smells good (after all, it IS an ester) but im not tempting fate

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HCN smells like, rotted, bitter almonds. If you want to know what it smells like, take some almonds and let them begin to rot. You'll then know what HCN smells like because in actuality, incredibily miniscule, picomolar quantities are produced from decaying almonds.

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Beware, many people don't smell HCN (including me). I once on purpose made HCN by dripping some dilute HCl on solid NaCN and then carefully sniffing (no, don't worry, quantities were well below 20 mg). No smell at all.

I did the same test by taking 20 mg of Ca(ClO)2 and dripping some HCl on it. I immediately noticed the smell of chlorine very clearly. I can smell chlorine very well, but I do not particularly dislike that smell (nor do I like it very much).

Finally I did such a test with 20 mg of NaN3 and adding dil. HCl to that. When I do that all alarms in my body start ringing, due to the smell of HN3. For me that definitely is the worst smell I've ever noticed . Not the smell itself, but when smelling it, it gives a really alarming feeling, a sense of fear, just as if you've seen a very horrorful scene in a movie or have seen something terribly happening. I cannot explain this, but it is really strange that a smell can do something like that in such low quantities (well below lethal and also well below physical discomfort).

This sense of fear, I do not have with Cl2, Br2, NH3, SO2 and many other pungent compounds, but I have it very strongly when smelling HN3. It has nothing to do with real fear.

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