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Author: Subject: Best and worst smelling chemicals?
guaguanco
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[*] posted on 14-12-2003 at 16:13
Best and worst smelling chemicals?


My favorites: piperonal (heliotrope) and vanillin. I just love those smells.
Worst: Thiophenol; just a foul sulfury smell. Phthalyl chloride; a nasty acrid smell.
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[*] posted on 14-12-2003 at 16:32


Yea, vanilla is pretty good.
There are two chemicals I've encountered that I absolutely do not like. One is butyric acid. The stench of vomit.
The other is pentene. I don't know what it was about it, but it nearly made me throw up. I had to leave the room while working with it before.




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Ramiel
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[*] posted on 14-12-2003 at 18:39


Paraformaldehyde is a nasty one. It has an awful harsh industrial type smell... oh, and it burns all the way to ground zero. I literally fell over when I got a whiff of this - reflexively to get away from the smell!

Oil of Wintergreen is probably my favorite.




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Darkfire
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[*] posted on 14-12-2003 at 19:04


Wintergreen and vanilin are my top two, im not sure about worst.



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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 09:29


Dimethyl sulfide is pretty bad. I like the smell of xylene, toluene, and gasoline. What is it that's in gasoline that makes it smell so wonderful? It almost smells good enough to drink.
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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 10:06


I've smelled a few of the sulfide members like everybody but not any seleniums or telluriums. Supposedly certain members of all the group 6 elements (such as the hydrides) smell worse as you go down the table. Even H2O would probably smell if we hadn't evolved in it. Has anyone here smelled any seleniums and telluriums?
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guaguanco
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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 10:20


Quote:
Originally posted by gritty_cryst
I've smelled a few of the sulfide members like everybody but not any seleniums or telluriums. Supposedly certain members of all the group 6 elements (such as the hydrides) smell worse as you go down the table. Even H2O would probably smell if we hadn't evolved in it. Has anyone here smelled any seleniums and telluriums?

No, although Shulgin repeats a story about a vial of dibutyltelluride that was dropped by a German chemist in a train car many years ago. The traincar had to be scrapped, since the intolerable odor couldn't be removed.
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guaguanco
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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 10:23


I once made S-allyl O-ethyl dithiocarbonate. It was an oil with an overpowering garlic smell.

CH2:CHCH2SC(:S)-OC2H5
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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 11:34


That reminds me of a story I heard from a professor about a graduate student researching tellurium for his thesis. Nobody ever wanted to be around him.
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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 11:35


What is it that's in gasoline that makes it smell so wonderful? It almost smells good enough to drink.

A blend of benzene, toluene, xylene and C8 alkanes.




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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 16:02


Linalool is one of the nice ones too.
AFAIK the smell of petrol is largely due to benzene. I guess gasoline smells the same. At any rate, I wouldnt go sniffing too much of it.
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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 16:06


HCN doesnt smell too bad either.... were it not for it's toxicity :D:D



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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 16:41


A blend of benzene, toluene, xylene and C8 alkanes.
No, I've smelled all those aromatics separately, as well as various liquid alkanes, and none of them approach the delightful scent of gasoline. I suppose it's a secret ingredient like the special addiction chemicals in Coca-Cola.
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[*] posted on 15-12-2003 at 20:51


Ah, the smells of the organic lab! It has always been like entering a magical world for me. IIRC allyl alcohol has an intriguing smell. Acetic anhydride was wicked yet intriguing. Pyridine was sickening. A professor said that he added one drop of pyridine to the ethanol bottle to prevent student theft.
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[*] posted on 16-12-2003 at 10:31


amonia got the worst odor .......
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[*] posted on 20-3-2004 at 14:23


Try the (mono)fluorothiophenoles before you decide on the worst smelling chemical substance - at your own risc ! Maybe you'll be banned from the campus ..
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[*] posted on 20-3-2004 at 18:38
Hypochlorites!


Hypochlorites have a peculiar pleasant acrid sweetness with relative purity. But becomes lacrimator with nitrogen based organics and ammonium salts.

As far as bad smells, Acetaldehyde had a penetrating fruity/paint thinner smell but I got just a small whiff and i had a hacking cough for the rest of the night. Read in Merck that it causes delayed pulminary edema! NASTY SHIT!

P.S. mixed NaClO with acetone and sulfuric acid.WHOA!!! The whole lot turned purple and it burned like pepper spray!! Chloroacetone??

[Edited on 3/21/2004 by chloric1]:o

[Edited on 3/21/2004 by chloric1]




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[*] posted on 20-3-2004 at 19:32


I like the smell of nitromethane, butane, the smoke that comes off of steel when your drilling it.

Dislikes- #1 fish oil #2 sulfur, #3 bleach, #4 stale machine coolant, this horrible smell comes from bacteria.


[Edited on 22-3-2004 by tom haggen]




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[*] posted on 21-3-2004 at 15:31


I read that 4-chlorophenylisocyanide should have one of the worst smells there are. All isonitriles is said to smell bad. Mixing strong hydroxide solution, a primary amine and chloroform will get you there. Don't know if it is toxic or so.

[Edited on 2004-3-21 by notagod]

[Edited on 2004-3-21 by notagod]
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[*] posted on 21-3-2004 at 17:16


In reply to gritty_cryst, I have had the great displeasure of encountering Hydrogen Selenide and Hydrogen Telluride. The former I made many, many years ago while in high school , avoiding the synthesis of Hydrogen Cyanide due to it's toxicity. Funny thing I found out later, that Hydrogen Selenide is 20x MORE toxic. I was young then, but I made it outdoors with a fan blowing the other way, dissoving it in water, of course. Nasty smell, like metallic sulfur (not really possible to describe).

Years later I tackled Hydrogen Telluride. Mixed powdered aluminum with powdered tellurium, heated the mixture to make Aluminum Telluride and reacted with very dilute Hydrochloric Acid. MUCH worse smell, and knowing the toxicity, I only made a minute quantity, outdoors again, anyway, I do not recommend it.

Strangely, I don't like wintergreen at all, but I like the fruity odors of other acid esters.
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[*] posted on 22-3-2004 at 04:24


Some of those alkyl esters have a peculiar, but very nice, smell. One that springs to mind is Ethyl Acetate (Ethyl Ethanoate - Pear Drops, yes?) - reminds me of school tuck shops...

Worst smells? Butyric acid and ammonia for sure, but how about thioethanol? I have heard that it's eeeevil....
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[*] posted on 22-3-2004 at 15:05


Thioethanol, aka ethanethiol, is used as the stenching agent for gas supplies. It ranks as pretty rank.:D
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[*] posted on 27-3-2004 at 15:39


My favorite chemical smell has to be a rubber rejuvenator (M.G. Rubber Renue) used in electronics repair. 70% xylene, 20-something% salicylic acid, and traces of other stuff. Very aromatic, smells like wintergreen candy. Just don't breathe too much - I find it tends to make me dizzy and nauseous.
Worst odor? Hmm, do fecal odors count as chemical??;)
The worst chemical odor I can think of, I'm actually not sure of the name for it. I was using a butane powered glue gun one night, and noticed some dirt around the exhaust port. I reached for a can of dust spray (contained tetrafluoroethane, or something to that effect) and gave it a squirt while the gun was still operating. No fireball, but it produced a cloud of the most noxious smoke I've ever had the misfortune to inhale. One whiff left me choking and gagging, my nostrils burning, and my eyes watering. Took hours for the smell to air out. To this day I'm not sure just what I produced, but whatever it was, it was nasty!
I'm also told that if crazy glue (cyanoacrylate) - wet or dry - contacts a hot soldering iron, it will produce some nasty cyanide gas. I won't bother trying to prove that theory.
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[*] posted on 27-3-2004 at 17:33


I think the name for the fecal odors is Indole or the Indole family. Another sickening odor is from rotting flesh. The amine group(s) attached to a short carbon chain gives Cadaverine and Putrescine. Naaga pooey!

I think you might have made a little hydroflouric acid with your butane powered glue gun. When you run chlorinated hydrocarbons through a flame you make phosgene and hydrochloric acid, among other things. I'm not sure there is a fluorine analog to phosgene. Does anyone know? Anyway, the HF made by running the flourocarbons through a flame are bad enough, and just as poisonous as HCN. It sounds like you were lucky. These same acids (HCl, HF) are produced when a refridgeration compressor burns out and over heats. The acids have to be removed from the system by flushing and using a neutralizing drier.

[Edited on 28-3-2004 by Mr. Wizard]
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[*] posted on 27-3-2004 at 17:39


The fluorine analog to phosgene COF2 is Carbonyl Fluoride. :D



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