It is Tuesday afternoon as a group of ladies enters Sensory Spectrum’s Discovery Center in New Providence, NJ. They quickly greet Lily at reception before going into their panel room. If you pass by their room, you won’t help but smile as you hear their laughter, prompted by animated stories about their latest weekend adventures and their “ohhs and ahhs” as they share pictures and videos of their pet, child, or grandchild. Soon, their fearless leader, Joyce O’Malley, enters the room. A few more laughs, a couple of brief exchanges and then, the room quiets down. It is time to get to work and work means: SMELL.
This happy bunch is the Spectrum Descriptive Aroma Panel. They call themselves the Scentsations! Equipped with their lab coats and highly trained noses, they work tirelessly to help consumer goods companies develop products aimed at maintaining or creating more pleasant olfactory environments for all. So they smell stink (pretty smells too, but that is not as exciting to talk about…) for a living. Why stink, why not just fragrance? Well, it is simple really… Who wants to go home to a kitchen that smells of putrefied garbage or cat waste? A laundry basket, shoe closet, or exercise room that smells of sweat and mildew? A baby room that smells of dirty diapers? A bathroom that smells of… well, you get the idea…
A pleasant environment is first and foremost an environment free of stink. And to eradicate the stink, you first have to understand the stink. And these ladies understand stink like no others - they use their highly trained noses to describe the stink, whether it is the real thing (think smelling people’s underarms, well-worn shoes or sports attire, or visiting people in their homes to smell their garbage) or a special “recipe” that mimics the real thing (which we call “model malodor”, and which the panel sometimes helps design and assess for authenticity).
Created with images by honzahruby - "Young beautiful woman in rubber gloves holding her nose" • Skitterphoto - "kitchen home house"