In this month’s Chemistry World, Derek Lowe writes about the memorable smells associated with a career in chemistry, including the fragrantly fruity funk of esters and the suspicious seaside stench of amines.
Inspired by Derek’s olfactory adventures, I asked a few of the Chemistry World and Education in Chemistry team to recount their own experiences of lab smells, and opened it up to the twittersphere under the hashtag #labsmells:
— Alex Sinclair (@Alex_Sinc) February 11, 2015
Philip Robinson, Deputy Editor, Chemistry World
As a PhD student in the ‘dry’ half of a biochemical NMR group, most lab smells were associated with a sense of relief that I was at last free of the chaotic caprice of real chemistry. But on occasional trips down the corridor to see how the other half lived I’d often encounter the bold odour of the yeast cultures that were busily building our proteins.