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Unusual Smells

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Unusual Smells


Bringing Waymarking to a new dimension of sensual perception! Our goal is to find and share locations of special olfactory experiences. Who can resist the smell in the backyard of a traditional bakery at 3 a.m. when the fresh bread for the coming day is in the oven? Or the smell of fresh cut timber around a sawmill? I also remember the horrible smell of the factory near our school that processed surplus yeast of a brewery into a spread (something similar to Marmite if you know what I mean); a really disgusting stink, but sweet childhood memories. Tell us your stories and the locations where we can experience them!


"Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousand of miles and all the years you have lived." Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)


"For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that you use it so little." Rachel Carson (1907 - 1964)


From Wikipedia: "An odor or odour (commonly referred to as a smell) is caused by one or more volatilized chemical compounds, generally at a very low concentration, that humans or other animals perceive by the sense of olfaction. Odors are also commonly called scents, which can refer to both pleasant and unpleasant odors. The terms fragrance and aroma are used primarily by the food and cosmetic industry to describe a pleasant odor, and are sometimes used to refer to perfumes. In contrast, malodor, stench, reek, and stink are used specifically to describe unpleasant odors."


Find a location with a special odor and describe it. Try your best to define what you smell, so others can imagine.


What is the character of the odor?


In narrative; you can refer to the proposed primary odors:

1. Musky (perfumes/aftershave)

2. Putrid (rotten eggs)

3. Pungent (vinegar)

4. Camphoraceous (mothballs)

5. Ethereal (dry cleaning fluid)

6. Floral (roses)

7. Pepperminty (mint gum)


What is the intensity of the odor on a scale from 0 to 6?


0 - no odor

1 - very weak (odor threshold)

2 - weak

3 - distinct

4 - strong

5 - very strong

6 - intolerable


Is the odor pleasant?


Use a scale from -5 (extremely unpleasant) via 0 (neutral) to 5 (extremely pleasant).


Is the odor natural or man-made?


What technical process or what natural phenomenon is the reason for the odor? Try to explain the background as detailed as possible.


When does it smell best/worst? Is the smell seasonal? Are there specific weather contitions that increase the odor, e.g. temparature, humidity, wind direction and strength?


Two photos: A general overview of the area and a picture of the source of the odor if you can identify it.


These were my thoughts so far? Tell me your ideas! What can I do to make my proposal even better?

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I don't know about this as a category but I just returned from a trip that included western Oklahoma and western Kansas and some of the feed lots out in that area would definitely fit in this category. If you are close the smell can bring tears to your eyes.

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Sounds fun, but what would be the photo requirement?

The source of the smell, as a factory chimney, a shrub in blossom, or a sulfated natural spring?


Also, most of the smelly locations would be weather or season dependant. The visitor wouldn't experience anything unusual if visiting the location on a windy day or out of the blossom season.

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@haggaeus: The photo requirement is there to help visitors find the correct spot and because waymarks without pictures look stupid. There are variables for seasonal and climatic etc. influence..


@Ianatlarge: Humans have not a very good sense of smell, you are right. But we do not abstain from posting waymarks where you can see something just because there are eagles. It is more subjective than other categories, true; I have no problem with that.

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There is a Purina factory in my city. When they are processing, the entire city smells like dog food. It's awful! We only notice it when driving near by or on a really windy day, but I always wonder how the people who live close to the factory can tolerate it.


I think the photo requirement for this category should be a photo of your face while experiencing the odor, and the source.

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Today i've been in the zoo. Some areas were very smelly, predestinated for some great waymarks. I took 6 coordinates and many pics. I still have the wonderful smell of the bats in my nose...

Cant wait to bring them online. I think SmellyKelly would like the cat, too.


All the best,



P.S.: Puhh... I think i need a shower :blink:

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Our local zoo does not have any, but if I remember correctly the master smellers are the vultures.


I am thinking about prevalence. Are six or more potential waymarks in a single zoo too much? Should this be limited and if yes, how?

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Hershey Pennsylvania smells like chocolate. Yummm.


I wonder how far away they are from digitizing smells? I am sure it will be possible one day.


I clicked the wrong thing and accidentally landed in this 5 year old proposal. That last suggestion got me thinking, though. Here's a good project for the techies of the world.


Scratch 'n Sniff Digital Photos.

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