Why men's body washes all smell the same

"It's aggressively tangy, like Kool-Aid made from pine cones." That's how The Atlantic's Olga Khazan describes the smell of the men's body wash she used during a recent shower (it was her boyfriend's body wash; she'd run out of her own lavender-scented liquid soap). Curious as to why almost all men's fragrances have a similar […]

Perfume to smell like a kitten

Demeter, the fragrance "library" that famously released a cologne with the smell of used paperback books, now offers a Kitten Fur scent. It's available as a cologne, body lotion, shower gel, and other toiletries. (Note: Wow, that's one tiny kitten next to the one ounce bottle in their product photo above.) Cats. Love them or […]

New Mac-scented candle reportedly smells like a standard candle

The New Mac Candle is a hand-poured, 100% soy 9-ounce candle offering 45-hours of burn time with notes of mint, peach, basil, lavender, mandarin and sage. It's $24. Here it is reviewed by staff at The Verge, who all have different opinions on what it smells like, until they're told what it's supposed to be, […]

The chemical composition of "old book smell"

It starts with lignin — a compound that makes up the cell walls of plants. Turns out, it's also closely related (chemical-structure-wise) to vanillin, the stuff that makes vanilla smell so vanilla-y. Given that books are full of the broken-down cell walls of trees, a big part of what we think of as "old book […]