Scientists Develop a Chemical Nose Capable of Discriminating Real and Copycat Perfumes

27 August 2000


A dog's nose


A test for smells that can distinguish between real and counterfeit perfumes has been developed by chemists at the University of Illinois. To make the sensor, scientists impregnated small teflon discs with 24 compounds called metalloporphyrins, which contain metal ions. Because gases cause specific colour changes in each metalloporphyrin, smelly gases can be identified by the colours on the discs. Well it’s nice to be able to see what perfume you’re wearing – sort of like a litmus test for smells…


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