We smell many substances / chemicals in our daily lives. Some smell good but some do not. While not all compounds produce odors, several compounds do have recognizable odors, including: Cadaverine and putrescine smell like rotting flesh. Skatole has a strong feces odor. Indole has a mustier, mothball-like smell. Here is a list of similar chemicals that cause the most smell.
☠ World War Weapon-“Who Me?”:
During World War II, the Allied Forces created Who Me – one of the most nefarious chemical weapons. Its was produced to make the target smell like feces.
😷 Ethyl Mercaptan (ethanethiol):
Ethyl Mercaptan smells like leek. 1 part of Ethyl Mercaptan can be detected – without instrumentation – in 2.8 billion parts of air.
The Mirror reads: “The French stench: Gas leak from factory in France causes a stink 200 miles away in UK” and the subheadline reads: “The leak released a colourless gas called mercaptan – listed in the Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s smelliest substance”.
🤢 Butyl seleno-mercaptan (C4H9SeH):
Ethyl mercaptan (C2H5SH) and butyl seleno-mercaptan (C4H9SeH) have an odor reminiscent of a combination of rotting cabbage, garlic, onions, burnt toast and sewer gas.Â Ethyl mercaptan is added to odorless gas to act as a warning agent.
🤧 Cadaverine :
Cadaverine is decarboxylated lysine that may be isolated from cadavers or pretty much any decaying dead animal. As living flesh decays, amino acids interact and create Cadaverine.
Skatole or 3-methylindole is an organic compound belonging to the indole family. Occurring in high concentrations, it is the primary odor of feces. But, do you know small amounts of skatole is used to flavor vanilla ice cream. But when it’s not being blended into dairy products, skatole is known for giving human feces part of its odor.
🤮 Butyric Acid:
Butyric acid is a carboxylic acid found in rancid butter, parmesan cheese, and vomit, and has an unpleasant odor and acrid taste, with a sweetish aftertaste (similar to ether). Butyric acid is a fatty acid occurring in the form of esters in animal fats and plant oils.
😤 Dibutyl Telluride:
When you smell “garlic” after tellurium exposure, is (CH3)2Te, or dimethyl telluride. The body metabolizes tellurium the same way it does sulfur, one of the elements that makes garlic stinky.
It is a highly flammable, weakly alkaline, water-miscible liquid with a distinctive, unpleasant fish-like smell which will not go easily. Pyridine is colorless, but older or impure samples can appear yellow. Historically, pyridine was produced from coal tar.
Putrescine smells like rotting flesh. In fact, the compound at the heart of putrescine is the same as that created by actual rotting flesh.
🥚 Hydrogen selenide:
Hydrogen Selenide smells like rotten eggs mixed with rotten radishes, and poisons you as it “clings” to the insides of your nostrils. It is more toxic than Hydrogen Cyanide, and dulls your sense of smell, making it incredibly dangerous on top of being unpleasantly fragrant.
💨 Mustard Gas:
Mustard Gas (HN3) doesn’t smell like mustard. In reality, Mustard Gas induces fear and hysteria in those unlucky enough to encounter it. Having no antidote, Mustard Gas caused more deaths during World War I than any other chemical weapon despite being less toxic than nerve gas.
🐠 Trimethylamine oxide:
This chemical is found more commonly in ocean sea life and is the reason that cod starts smell faster than river caught catfish. This scent is caused by the breakdown in bacteria combined with the fish enzymes.
Ammonia is 1 part Nitrogen, 3 parts Hydrogen and all parts repugnant. Some of the more pleasant liquids with traces of ammonia include concentrated cleaning products, cat piss and human sweat.
🙊 Isovaleric Acid:
Isovaleric acid has an identity crisis. On the one hand, the acid gives off at athletic foot smell and makes the body stink of B.O. On the other hand, one of isovaleric acid’s compounds (esters) is used in perfumes due to its fragrant scent. Let’s just hope you catch it on one of its “up” days.
A thiol is an organic sulfur compound. A familiar example is the rotten egg smell of hydrogen sulfide. Compounds with the S-H group tend to be toxic as well as smelly.
While fly food and disinfected cultures stink, they won’t hurt you. If you can smell formaldehyde, on the other hand, you know you’re poisoning yourself. The chemical, often used as a preservative, has a distinctly unpleasant odor. The nausea and headache are from the toxicity, not just the scent. Paraformaldehyde, a related chemical also used as a fixative, possibly smells even worse.
Trace amounts of fusel alcohols give beer and wine distinctive odors. However, the pure chemical smells vile. n-Butanol is a primary alcohol produced during carbohydrate fermentation. While it’s a solvent in the lab, you’ll also find it as an artificial flavoring in many foods and as a natural chemical in beer, wine, and other fermented products.
Beta-mercaptoethanol (2-mercaptoethanol) is used to lower the volatility of chemical solutions and as an antioxidant. The odor is like a cross between rotten eggs and burnt rubber. In high doses, it’s deadly toxic.