(Sniff) ...Eau De Genius Bar? (7/1/04)

Just a quickie, here, folks, because this is far too weird to say much about, but there's no way we can let it pass without comment. The background info's going to seem so far off-topic it's six dimensions over and four parallel universes down, but bear with us, because it really is going somewhere, we promise. Have we ever led you astray? Other than that time we mistakenly assured you that all of Apple's motherboards are dishwasher-safe, we mean. That was just a typo.

Okay, here goes: faithful viewer mrmgraphics forwarded us an Associated Press article about a New Jersey company named International Flavors & Fragrances, which has apparently found a way to reproduce the smells of living flowers. This is significant because most floral perfumes are made from "extracts, essential oils, or ground petals," all of which are drawn from dead plants and therefore smell, logically enough, rather different than the real live flower in bloom. Indeed, the same flower may smell different at different times; "Each flower has a biorhythm, a life cycle. A perfumer may or may not want the 'peak' scent. There are many different accords from the same single flower."

(At least, that's what IFF says; to us and our tin noses, a rose is a rose is a rose. In a blind smell test, we're not entirely sure we could distinguish between an actual blooming rose and a scratch 'n' sniff sticker.)

Anyway, so here's how IFF works its magic: it has a special glass-globe-'n'-retractable-needle rig and the needle is positioned in the flower's "headspace," as close as possible to the flower itself. The needle collects the odor molecules given off by the live flower for half an hour, a computer crunches the data, and IFF gets a "fragrance profile" that enables them to produce "nature-identical molecules" synthetically which duplicate the exact scent as captured. Kinda like duping music from CDs, actually. Or not. Whatever. The upshot is that they can sample a smell and then reproduce it exactly in the lab.

And this is where we finally get to the point: any smell. When it wasn't sticking a needle in front of a night-blooming orchid, "IFF produced Gigabyte, a perfume based on the smell of computers as a special project for Visionaire magazine. Instead of the needle collecting a flower's molecules, it captured the headspace in the Apple computer store in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood."

Yes, ladies, you heard correctly: there's a perfume out there somewhere that can make you smell like a Mac sitting in a flagship Apple retail store. Just imagine the hordes of rampaging Mac geeks chasing you everywhere you go! What could possibly be better?

Don't answer that.

SceneLink (4795)
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From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 7/1/04 episode:

July 1, 2004: Apple runs out of iMacs a couple of months before the new ones will be ready. Meanwhile, the company counts down to its 100 millionth song download, and scent researchers create the perfect perfume for the Mac lady in your life...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4793: But At Least It's Dramatic (7/1/04)   And July kicks off with a bang! Just think, here we were concerned that after the thrill ride known as June, from an Apple drama perspective this month would wind up relatively tame by comparison-- but here we are just one day in, and what do we get?...

  • 4794: 2 Million Songs Per Free iPod (7/1/04)   But let's not dwell on the downers, okay? After all, the iMac well running dry wasn't even the big news today-- or at least that's what Apple certainly wants you to think, because while the "Yes, We Have No iMacs" admission was understandably low-key, Apple isn't being the least bit subtle about the iTunes Music Store's rapidly-approaching 100 millionth song download...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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