The new smell discovered by scientists has been described as the olfactory equivalent of white noise, according to LiveScience.
Researchers published their findings today (November 19) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Scientists have named the new smell “olfactory white,” which is a combination of different smell compounds. The only place an individual can experience this aroma is in a laboratory.
“[The] more components there were in each of two mixtures, the more similar the smell of those two mixtures became, even though the mixtures had no components in common,” researchers explained.
Scientists said that “olfactory white” isn’t defined so much by the type of smells as it is by the number of odors that are present in the combination.
According to the International Weekly Journal of Science, the discovery was made while scientists were combining a wide variety of different smells from across the spectrum.
Even if the scents didn’t ordinarily share a common thread, they began to smell alike once other compounds were added to the mixture. Once 30 smells had been mixed together, most of them tended to smell alike. Distinctive smells were effectively masked by the olfactory equivalent of white noise.
Olfactory researcher Donald Wilson of New York University Langone Medical Center explained that the discovery allows scientists to further understand how the olfactory system operates on a very basic level.
“It tells us something very basic about how the olfactory system deals with mixtures,” he said.
Unfortunately for those who get their kicks from experiencing different odors and aromas, the only way to enjoy the new smell discovered by scientists is to pay a visit to a laboratory that’s mixed the compounds together.
Scientists stated that “olfactory white” is ultimately too bland to accurately described in words.
“The best way to appreciate the qualities of olfactory white is to smell it,” researchers explained.
What do you think about the new smell discovered by scientists?