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Box to capture smells

By fractional distillation
  (+8, -1)
(+8, -1)
  [vote for,

When you find a smell, suck it into a box with a nozzle. Inside the box, the air is cooled to a bit hotter than oxygen and nitrogen boil at, leaving most things that smell in the box as liquid or solid. Scoop the liquid and solid into a smaller concertina box, seal it and warm it up to normal temperature again. That box is then full of almost pure smell.
eleventeenthly, Aug 08 2008

SmellJet Printer SmellJet_20Printer
The Fragrance will be with you .... allways. [8th of 7, Aug 10 2008]

Stasi Smell Museum http://www.boingboi...i-smell-museum.html
[shapu, May 06 2009]


       I've also often thought a smell-capturing device would be fun. [+]
kuupuuluu, Aug 08 2008

       you've not been married.
po, Aug 08 2008

       not quite sure if you would get enough of the smell this way. many compounds are "smellable" at parts per million levels making getting a significant number of them in the box hard. More like a smell-o-vac would be necessary compressing vast quantities of the gas to produce tiny volumes of "pure smell". Many "pure smells" would be fatal to waft. Easier more like to use a gas spectrophotometer and reconstruct the aroma in the lab.
WcW, Aug 08 2008

       Don't open Panodor's box.   

       If this works, then could I remove all the water and alcohol from wine, and box the remaining sediment? Simply add again to enjoy?
Ling, Aug 09 2008

       Baked - bed sheets.
Cedar Park, Aug 10 2008

       The captured chemicals are going to be subject to all sorts of decay effects like oxidation and hydrolysation.   

       Better to have a "synthetic nose" that analyses the constituents, and can then produce an electronic "noseprint" allowing the original odour to be recreated using a library of basic smell chemicals, rather like the way a printer can re-create a passable colour image using only four inks.
8th of 7, Aug 10 2008

       I did exactly this for my honours project, in 1995. I drew air first through activated carbon to remove existing odours, then through a chamber containing a mouse, then through a glass U-tube immersed in liquid nitrogen where the smells were captured. I was able to make little vials of eau de souris. I used this to monitor the response of mosquitoes to odour in the absence of other cues, such as carbon dioxide, heat, and vision.
spidermother, May 02 2009

       ..and did it smell of mouse?
gnomethang, May 05 2009

       I used to keep mice, and pretty much anything which has been in contact with mice smells of mouse.
As do things which may then come into contact with that.

       I remember a show called "Men in White". In one episode, one of the aforementioned extracted the smell of rotting fish using ethanol. He said he was extracting odourous molecules with interesting names like putrecine. It was for warding off traffic wardens.   

       For some smells, ethanol extraction might be better, and certainly easier than packing a flask of liquid nitrogen around.
Loris, May 05 2009

       I always thought putrecine was in the same group as ethanoic acid (along with cadavarine). They are a few carbons up from butanoic acid - the sickly taste in Parmesan.
gnomethang, May 06 2009

       //..and did it smell of mouse?// Yes, it did. I probably could have used other methods, but I wanted to capture what the mice gave off into the air, rather than the smells they leave on surfaces by contact etc. Also it was a good excuse to mess about with liquid nitrogen.
spidermother, May 06 2009

       //it was a good excuse to mess about with liquid nitrogen//
You need an excuse?
coprocephalous, May 06 2009

       This gives me an excuse to link to an evil intelligence agency obviously years ahead of its time, then. [link]
shapu, May 06 2009


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