Making peace between perfume wearers and asthmatics?
From the BBC (Creating a stink in the name of science), about the work of a professor in Tokyo:
One of the most ambitious devices his team has built is a sophisticated “odour recorder” which can sniff an object and then reproduce its smell using a host of chemicals.
If you present the recorder with a shiny red apple, the electronic nose will take a cursory sniff, analyse the odour and then draw up a recipe of chemicals needed to recreate it.
When you want to replay the scent, the device mixes the ingredients and pumps the smell of apples back at you.
The system is already attracting interest from the scent industry. As the professor excitedly showed off his gadgets, two executives from a large Japanese fragrance firm eagerly watched.
Many but not all perfumes trigger asthma. Since each perfume is made up of tens of ingredients it is likely that only a few of the ingredients are asthma triggers. If a company stocks its odor reproducer only with asthma-safe chemicals it can produce asthma-safe perfumes. Once it becomes clear that some perfumes are asthma safe, there will be a strong incentive for other companies to follow suit.
Thanks to Mickey.