NASA launches a fragrance: Eau de Space, the perfume of space


Dwhat could it smell space beyond the earth’s atmosphere, in the absence of gravity, up there, elsewhere? What feelings does the sense of smell arouse? An answer now comes directly from NASA. Which instead of a new mission announces the launch, or rather, at the moment a prototype, of a fragrance, Eau de Space, the olfactory translation of the infinite above us: the smell of space.

The inspiration from the words of those who have been there

The artistic experiment has as its starting point the words of Peggy Whitson, one former American astronaut of the International Space Station, which in 2017 after a long mission has told CNN about his feelings during the “walks” in space, including the olfactory ones: the infinite spaces above the Earth would know “of bitter, smoky, punghnte and sweetish: a bit like one gun just after a shot“, Due to the high presence of nitrogen. Don Pettit, another American colleague, I had already described it in 2003 a National Geographic as “a pleasant metallic and sweet sensation”.

But what does it smell like?

The rest did it Steve Pearce, chemist and CEO of Omega Ingredients, company specializing in the production of high quality natural flavors and ingredients for the food and beverage industry, inspired by the confirmations of NASA itself: “Astronauts describe the smell as a mix of gunpowder, seared steak, raspberries and rum“. and here it is, the olfactory composition: a sweet-bitter, experimental, daring pyramid.

Objective: industrial production

In the initial idea of ​​Pearce and NASA in 2008, Eau de Space would have served only for exercises, to help astronauts to recreate the environment as realistic as possible in view of launch launches into orbit, but the project is quickly raising a lot of funding on Kickstarter, U.S. crowdfounding platform that provides collective funding for creative projects: the goal is start its industrial production. And bring a little infinity to our skin. The next destination, it seems, is the Moon …

NASA and that passion for perfume

It seems that the space agency is fascinated by the world of perfumes: already in 2013 had conducted an experiment, Astroculture, with IFF, the International Flavors and Fragrance company to find out if a rose grown in space had the same scent as those grown on Earth. A plant was built to ensure the survival of a long-stemmed Overnight Scentsation rose in space. What did they discover? That in conditions of micro gravity even the noble flower has a different scent from the usual “terrestrial”: less intense but more sublime, because the essential oils are distributed differently and the effluvi are confined. Even then there was talk of marketing the fragrance.

Space, olfactory inspiration continues

Capturing the incurable is a frequent olfactory dream, a topos in perfumery art: the first success, still an olfactory case today, was Angel by Thierry Mugler. A small star fallen from space that in 1992 upset the world of fragrances: created by Olivier Cresp, it was the first daring gourmand in history, with a mesmerizing jus of peach, citrus and chocolate, which made its debut in perfumery.

Among the jus that instead the closer they got even on the olfactory level, there is the experiment of Philippe Strck: his “Peau d’Ailleursperfume elsewhere, signed by superstar noses Dominique Ropion, Daphné Bugey and Annick Ménardo, has a jus (secret) indefinable, elusive, like air: an encroachment into the immaterial sensation given by earthy notes and the synthetic molecule of Ambroxan, with amber and woody hints.

And, designer label, there is also The Immensité , part of the family of Parfums Louis Vuitton. which combines the dream of infinity, the perspective of other worlds with extreme elegance. “For me, infinity means very intense, never-ending freshness,” the Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, maitre Maître Parfumeur Louis Vuitton. Freshness that rhymes with bergamot, cedar, citrus with a touch of ginger, as opposed to a powerful ingredient for a sophisticated contrast, amber, or rather, vegetable labdanum. “The result is an intangible, sparkling, persistent air, as if by magic.”

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