"We are looking for modern smells that have never been used in fragrances before but which have strong associations with activities that people enjoy or respect," The Times quoted Will Andrews, a fragrance scientist at Procter and Gamble (Pand G), which makes perfumes by Hugo Boss, Dolce and Gabbana and Lacoste, as saying.
Andrews' aim is to find 'notes' within the odours found in such places that evoke positive emotions associated with sporty activities. These can then be used in conjunction with other odours to make new fragrances. Smell is the most evocative of the senses. Just a faint whiff of a particular odour can conjure up memories and emotions in a way that no other sense can achieve," the expert said.
A lecture on how researchers used a technique called "headspace analysis", in which a pump sucks air from a room or area deemed to have interesting smells, will be given by Andrews at the Royal Institution in London.
In the process, air is passed over polymer beads that trap the odour molecules and concentrate them. Back in the laboratory the beads are placed in a gas chromatograph where they are warmed up. The odour molecules evaporate from the beads and are sucked into the machine to be analysed.
Once the structure of the molecules is known they can be duplicated artificially in the quantities needed for perfume.