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  #1  
Old 02-06-2005, 08:51 PM
Nim Nim is offline
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Can you really not smell vodka?

I think that no matter what, that you can smell a drink with alcohol in it. But some say you can't smell Vodka, or that if you can, then it wasn't made right.

Origins, From: http://www.epinions.com/fddk-review-...3902151C-prod2

Vodka, by law, is a colorless, odorless product. Most people would not argue that Vodka is clear but many may contend that it does have an odor. In fact good Vodka will not have any odor other the smell associated with the alcohol.

Smirnoff is the standard that all vodkas are judged by. The product is a perfect choice for mixed drinks, martinis or straight on the rocks. Smirnoff is available in any establishment that sells or serves alcoholic beverages.

Origins, From: http://www.coolquiz.com/trivia/names...?name=smirnoff

The bottles were then shipped off to the south. The salesman accompanying them was curious about this colorless whiskey and sampled it. Right away he came up with a slogan to advertise the product: "Smirnoff's White Whiskey, No Taste, No Smell." He sold out right away. Smirnoff's is today the best-selling liquor in the United States.

Origins, From: http://www.boiseweekly.com/comments.php?id=1549_0_1_0_C

While still popular amongst some for the rebelliousness of drinking a spirit from Mother Russia, Smirnoff needed some damage control on the brand and advertised it as using 100 percent American grain and the fact that “it leaves you breathless,” marketing the fact that it takes a stronger nose to smell vodka on someone’s breath than to smell bourbon. Using celebrities like Groucho Marx, Woody Allen and Zsa Zsa Gabor to “endorse” Smirnoff in legendary ad campaigns helped make vodka, especially the Smirnoff brand even more popular.

Smell, From: http://www.pitch.com/issues/2004-03-...ar/stpats.html

Alcohol by itself doesn't have a very strong smell. Whenever somebody's been drinking for a while, and they have this really strange breath? That's the metabolites from the alcohol -- ketones and things like that. Those are metabolic byproducts of alcohol, and they give you a really funny smell on your breath. When you start drinking, the alcohol's being absorbed and being metabolized ... but ketones don't get metabolized. They're in your blood, and your blood and your lungs exchange -- that's how you breathe -- and these things will come out in your lungs, and you'll be breathing them for hours. So there's no way to cover it up and totally fool everybody all the time after a certain point. You can probably get away with one, but, you know, anything more than that, it's going to show one way or another.

If someone takes a straight shot of alcohol, like vodka or something, and you immediately smell their breath, it's not very strong, but you can still smell something. With time, it goes away. If you take the same amount of vodka and dilute it with water, it doesn't smell as strong. But again, that'll go away with time because the volatile things will be breathed out.

Smell, From: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/articles/11412-2.asp

There is a very poor correlation between the strength of the smell of alcohol on the breath and the BAC. Pure alcohol has very little smell. It is the metabolism of other substances in alcoholic beverages that produces most of the smell. This explains why a person who drinks large amounts of high-proof vodka (a more pure form of alcohol) may have only a faint smell of alcohol on the breath. On the other hand, a person who drinks a modest amount of beer may have a strong smell of alcohol on the breath.
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  #2  
Old 02-06-2005, 09:17 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is online now
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Quote:
Vodka, by law, is a colorless, odorless product. Most people would not argue that Vodka is clear but many may contend that it does have an odor. In fact good Vodka will not have any odor other the smell associated with the alcohol.
This rather begs the question, since vodka is virtually pure ethanol and water. Of course it has no odor other than that of alcohol. But that still is an odor.

The stuff about the ketones on the breath is quite correct, and that happens no less with vodka than with other forms of alcohol.

The stuff about beer leaving a stronger "smell of alcohol" on the breath than vodka is not correct. Ethanol is ethanol, whether in vodka, beer, gin, wine, or what have you, and it always smells the same. But beer has a lot of other aromatic compounds in it, and those make beer breath smell stronger than vodka breath.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2005, 10:40 PM
zoid zoid is offline
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I tended bar for 15 years.

Believe me, vodka REEKS. There is no way you can'rt notice it if someone has drank a lot.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2011, 05:40 AM
Superhal Superhal is offline
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Because the alcohol smell is so strong, how can any other smell be distinguished?
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  #5  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:51 AM
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares is offline
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Pure alcohol does not have an odor. Rather, it has an anesthetizing effect on the nose, but that is a chemesthetic effect (in the same family as hot, cold, astringent, etc), not an olfactory one. As for alcohol breath, it is possible that the alcohol interacts with chemicals in the mouth to produce detectable odor compounds.
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2011, 11:18 AM
glowacks glowacks is offline
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I find it hard to believe that alcohol has no odor. When I open a concentrated source of alcohol there is always something in the air that causes me to not enjoy the sensation coming from my nose. It may have an effect on the nose that makes it not technically an odor, but anything that causes your nose to relay information about the content of the air you breathed in sure sounds like an odor.

Perhaps it's something akin to the difference between the physical sensation of taste, of which there are only a few distinct possibilities, and the combination of the food's texture and taste along with the odor it creates. If something I put in my mouth gives me a negative reaction, I'm generally going to say it tastes bad even if it's not a taste per se that I'm not fond of.
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  #7  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:24 PM
wheresmymind wheresmymind is offline
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I agree with glowacks. I've used many varieties of ultra-pure alcohol in laboratory settings (anhydrous (200 proof) alcohol, pesticide residue analysis grade, HPLC grade, etc), both tax-paid and denatured, etc. They all smelled "like alcohol," whether in pure form or in a solution with water, and I'd say they smelled similar to vodka.

Maybe the physiological reaction that happens in my nose makes it not technically a "smell," but if I had a beaker of pure water and a beaker of a 50% ethanol solution in water, I could easily tell which was which using only my nose.
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  #8  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:25 PM
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares is offline
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I mean, in the interest of fighting ignorance, there really is no odor. You can call that sensation whatever you like, of course, as long as you don't say that it's technically correct.
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:28 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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That does it, I'm gettin' my old job back.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2011, 05:13 PM
chorpler chorpler is online now
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Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
I mean, in the interest of fighting ignorance, there really is no odor. You can call that sensation whatever you like, of course, as long as you don't say that it's technically correct.
Sure seems like it has a smell, not just an anesthetic effect.

ETA: I guess what I'm trying to say is, do you have a cite?

Last edited by chorpler; 02-28-2011 at 05:14 PM..
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2011, 07:39 PM
Superhal Superhal is offline
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Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
Pure alcohol does not have an odor.
Who drinks pure alcohol? We're talking about the stuff that comes in plastic bottles at the supermarket with Russian sounding names.

And I can definitely smell vodka. Actually, I can smell the difference between different brands of vodka as well.

Last edited by Superhal; 02-28-2011 at 07:40 PM..
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2011, 08:18 PM
Normal Phase Normal Phase is offline
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Ethanol has strong smell, very distinct. I flat-out don't believe that it has purely an anesthetizing effect.

(As a total aside, I love the smell of mixed methanol and water.)
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2011, 10:04 PM
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chorpler View Post
Sure seems like it has a smell, not just an anesthetic effect.

ETA: I guess what I'm trying to say is, do you have a cite?
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Dri...107196613.html

http://www.conestogaenergy.com/what-ethanol

(this somewhat conflicting source says ethanol has a slight "alcohol" smell and methanol has a sweet smell, but no intensity levels)
http://www.odour.unsw.edu.au/odorous-compounds.html

Obviously, impurities and other compounds will contribute odor. Plastic bottle vodka probably has a much stronger smell than the high end stuff.

Laboratory ethanol and methanol both probably have odorants and various chemicals to discourage you from drinking them.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2011, 12:28 PM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
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I can smell vodka, whether or not I'm smelling the alcohol or something else, I can smell it.
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2011, 05:03 PM
wheresmymind wheresmymind is offline
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S2P, I'm not challenging your claim that ethanol is technically "odorless" because it is sensed via a distinct pathway, but do you have any cites specific to this claim? Explaining how ethanol is perceived as a "smell," even if it technically isn't one? I'm genuinely interested in this, not trying to call you out. Because there do indeed seem to be lots of sources that claim it's "odorless" or has a "slight odor," but as I said this is completely at odds with my (somewhat extensive) experience with the chemical. I suppose things like HCl probably don't have a technical "odor" either, as you're likely perceiving the acid burning the inside of your nose.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Dri...107196613.html

http://www.conestogaenergy.com/what-ethanol

(this somewhat conflicting source says ethanol has a slight "alcohol" smell and methanol has a sweet smell, but no intensity levels)
http://www.odour.unsw.edu.au/odorous-compounds.html

Obviously, impurities and other compounds will contribute odor. Plastic bottle vodka probably has a much stronger smell than the high end stuff.

Laboratory ethanol and methanol both probably have odorants and various chemicals to discourage you from drinking them.
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2011, 06:35 PM
Swords to Plowshares Swords to Plowshares is offline
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I already Google searched it and it was clouded by Yahoo Answers type schlock of teenagers asking what alcoholic beverages are odorless so they can go get drunk and not get caught by their parents. Most of the cites that I found were the ones I listed along with the ones listed in the OP.

Honestly, this doesn't seem like a well-researched area (most of food science isn't, really). The papers that I could find both seemed way over my head and I couldn't access full text anyways. If you want to take a stab at it you're welcome to it.
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:14 PM
Apocalypso Apocalypso is offline
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1) The OP has posted some links claiming that pure alcohol has no taste or smell. Rubbish. Alcohol does something to one's olfactory sense that causes the brain to identify it as alcohol. Not sure what the justification for claiming "technically not an odor", but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc, that's good enough for me. Anything else is hairsplitting.

2) But I could see some truth to the OP's that there isn't an actual "vodka smell", that is, none of the distinct ingredients that make vodka what it is have any odor in and of themselves. So you're really smelling the alcohol itself, and it may technically be indistinguishable from pure alcohol, smell-wise. Not claiming belief or doubt, but it's much more plausible than #1

3) Hi Opal!

4) As to whether Vodka makes one's breath, sweat, pee, etc, smell less than other forms of alcohol, I am extremely dubious and demand scientific evidence!

5) "Smirnoff is the #1 selling alcohol in the entire United States today". Since the entire book excerpt sounds like it was obtained from a Smirnoff PR rep, with no cites or independent supporting data, I'm going to go ahead and call bullshit on this one too.
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  #18  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:27 PM
MPB in Salt Lake MPB in Salt Lake is offline
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Originally Posted by Apocalypso View Post
15) "Smirnoff is the #1 selling alcohol in the entire United States today". Since the entire book excerpt sounds like it was obtained from a Smirnoff PR rep, with no cites or independent supporting data, I'm going to go ahead and call bullshit on this one too.
I would tend to agree with you here, as I am not even convinced that Smirnoff is actually the #1 selling vodka in the USA anymore, let alone ALL alcoholic beverages in general.

In the last few years, it seems like super-premium vodka (Grey Goose, Skyy, Absolute, Stoli) are all the rage everywhere that I happen to notice. Smirnoff seems like a mid-range brand at best.

Finally, as far as I can tell, most vodkas (except for the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, the rotgut sold in plastic jugs with the built-in handles for $6.99 per half-gallon) are all about the same, with not enough difference in taste or effect (hangover or lack thereof) to justify spending an additional 15 or 20 bucks per bottle on the high-end labels.

Last edited by MPB in Salt Lake; 03-01-2011 at 07:31 PM..
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  #19  
Old 03-01-2011, 07:45 PM
Asympotically fat Asympotically fat is offline
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Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
Laboratory ethanol and methanol both probably have odorants and various chemicals to discourage you from drinking them.
I ain't no chemist, but surely commerical laboratory ethanol has no additives as they may interfere with whatever the purpose for which the ethanol is required.
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  #20  
Old 03-01-2011, 10:22 PM
user_hostile user_hostile is offline
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Can someone explain to me the oder I smelled that came off of an enormous pile of tree mulch? It smelled like methanol to me. The pile covered something like 1/2 a football field and was about 15 to 20 feet high. I just assumed the interior was fermenting and that t out-gassing the volatiles. But I'm no organic chemist, either.

Last edited by user_hostile; 03-01-2011 at 10:24 PM.. Reason: Bits and pieces....
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  #21  
Old 03-01-2011, 11:06 PM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
Laboratory ethanol and methanol both probably have odorants and various chemicals to discourage you from drinking them.
methanol doesn't need additives to discourage from drinking, it is poisonous enough by itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by These are my own pants View Post
I ain't no chemist, but surely commerical laboratory ethanol has no additives as they may interfere with whatever the purpose for which the ethanol is required.
denatured ethanol is used in the lab for some purposes. when pure ethanol is needed absolute grade is used.
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  #22  
Old 03-02-2011, 03:19 AM
chorpler chorpler is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
I already Google searched it and it was clouded by Yahoo Answers type schlock of teenagers asking what alcoholic beverages are odorless so they can go get drunk and not get caught by their parents. Most of the cites that I found were the ones I listed along with the ones listed in the OP.

Honestly, this doesn't seem like a well-researched area (most of food science isn't, really). The papers that I could find both seemed way over my head and I couldn't access full text anyways. If you want to take a stab at it you're welcome to it.
Yeah, I concur. All the sites I found while Googling this topic were either DUI-related and talking about how you can't reliably tell if someone's drunk from smelling their breath and just repeated the "alcohol is actually odorless" refrain without any kind of citation or explanation, or just straight-up repeated "alcohol is actually odorless" without any kind of citation. There were other sites that said alcohol does have an odor; Wikipedia's alcohol article, for instance, says
Quote:
Alcohols have an odor that is often described as “biting” and as “hanging” in the nasal passages.
The first link you posted is a DUI link, and the second one is an ethanol fuel link that doesn't seem very credible:

Quote:
There are two types of ethanol. What is known as denatured alcohol is actually pure ethanol.
And I also couldn't find anything about alcohol's very clear "smell" not really being a smell but an anesthetizing effect.

You can definitely detect a sharp, "biting" odor from pure ethanol, in my experience. So I'm very interested to find out if it's really true that it doesn't have a true "smell."

Hey, do other chemicals that anesthetize the olfactory nerves result in an "alcohol smell!" sensation?

Last edited by chorpler; 03-02-2011 at 03:21 AM.. Reason: Changed Wiki quote to a quote instead of quoting it with quotes ... so to speak
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  #23  
Old 03-02-2011, 05:22 AM
USCDiver USCDiver is offline
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Originally Posted by MPB in Salt Lake View Post

Finally, as far as I can tell, most vodkas (except for the bottom-of-the-barrel stuff, the rotgut sold in plastic jugs with the built-in handles for $6.99 per half-gallon) are all about the same, with not enough difference in taste or effect (hangover or lack thereof) to justify spending an additional 15 or 20 bucks per bottle on the high-end labels.
Alton Brown says the only difference between a $30 bottle of vodka and a $85 bottle of vodka is $55!
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  #24  
Old 03-02-2011, 05:41 AM
Redfishhunter930 Redfishhunter930 is offline
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Once while in College at a football game hint Geaux Tigers
I accidentally left a flask of vodka in my hip pocket. When the deputy asked what was in the flask I said water. He unscrewed the cap smelled the flask handed it back to me and said "Have a nice game". So yeh it smells like water
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  #25  
Old 03-02-2011, 09:19 PM
wheresmymind wheresmymind is offline
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Originally Posted by These are my own pants View Post
I ain't no chemist, but surely commerical laboratory ethanol has no additives as they may interfere with whatever the purpose for which the ethanol is required.
Yeah, there are MANY grades/types of "laboratory" ethanol out there, mostly based on how pure they are, and how many tests the producer ran to certify the purity. Some are denatured, some aren't. Small sample HERE. My lab used ACS certified spectrophotometric grade (95%) as it's bread-and-butter, which is probably more "clean" than anything you can buy for human consumption. We also used 200 proof anhydrous ethanol for certain uses, and food-grade 95% (basically everclear that came in a 5-gallon carboy) for preserving plankton samples. They all smelled like alcohol to me, and none of them contained denaturants.
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  #26  
Old 10-20-2012, 11:39 PM
bigjay5980 bigjay5980 is offline
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my straight dope on this topic...

Hey there new guy here with some opinions on this subject i don't believe have been mentioned. 1st of all there is a difference between an odor and fumes or vapor although vodka may not have a desirable odor there is a vapor or fume detectable by our noses to me it reminds me of perfume to sniff a bottle of vodka or take a straight shot...I suppose that is because perfumes are made with alcohols to evaporate quickly... when hand sanitizer first came out People would use them after using our company's hand scan punch out clock....For awhile i was sure that I could smell a drinker in our midst...but no..turns out it was just hand sanitizer.

Anyway speaking from experience.(don't judge) ...drink 1/2 a mickey of vodka= 90% chance you will get away with it ,if you can hold your alcohol
.
Drink 2 shots of rye, bourbon, scotch, ect... the odds drop by half...

If you want a drink to relax, go with vodka.then buy some burn your mouth gum to increase your odds...best advice... regularly apply hand sanitizer...you may be considered neurotic but at least any alcohol aroma coming from you will be attributed to the sanitizer...
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  #27  
Old 10-20-2012, 11:49 PM
bizzwire bizzwire is offline
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Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
Pure alcohol does not have an odor. Rather, it has an anesthetizing effect on the nose, but that is a chemesthetic effect (in the same family as hot, cold, astringent, etc), not an olfactory one. As for alcohol breath, it is possible that the alcohol interacts with chemicals in the mouth to produce detectable odor compounds.
Horse hockey. I work with the stuff every day (chemistry lab). It smells just like Ethyl Alcohol.
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  #28  
Old 10-21-2012, 12:09 AM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Wikipedia says that ethanol has a "slight odor", and since (good) vodka is just water and ethanol, Vodka will have a slight odor.

It wouldn't surprise me if some people couldn't detect any odor at all.
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  #29  
Old 10-21-2012, 12:14 AM
Ambivalid Ambivalid is online now
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It wouldn't surprise me if some people couldn't detect any odor at all.
Well, there is this superhero I know of; but he's kinda lame.
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  #30  
Old 10-21-2012, 12:51 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Horse hockey. I work with the stuff every day (chemistry lab). It smells just like Ethyl Alcohol.
Yep. Mind you, cheap vodka does have more of a real smell.
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  #31  
Old 10-21-2012, 01:00 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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As it happens, I'm sitting in a bar right now and the barmaid is incredibly patient. I ordered a shot of vodka and a shot of water and had no trouble smelling which was which. The odor is very faint, though, and I could probably fool someone with a cold into thinking a shot of vodka is actually water.

This was a major plot point in a Paul Newman movie, The Philadelphia Lawyer.
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  #32  
Old 10-22-2012, 04:26 PM
wheresmymind wheresmymind is offline
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Double zombie!
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:53 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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I didn't see this in the thread anywhere and thought it was worth tossing in: Under the glass countertop at a tool rental store, I once saw a little card reading, "If you must drink on your lunch hour, drink whiskey, not vodka. We want the customers to know you're drunk, not think you're stupid."

Last edited by Amateur Barbarian; 10-22-2012 at 04:54 PM..
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  #34  
Old 10-22-2012, 05:56 PM
CC CC is offline
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Years ago, the Mrs. was in labor, and they wanted to slow it down. They gave her an IV drip of alcohol. It wasn't long before her breath smelled like she had been downing shots. That, my friends, was the smell of alcohol on the breath.

Also, open a bottle of vodka and take a whiff. If you smell absolutely nothing, then vodka has no smell. If you smell something, then it does.

No wonder it's taken so long to fight ignorance. Sheesh.
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  #35  
Old 07-25-2013, 07:00 AM
Colophon Colophon is offline
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Does embalming fluid have an odour?

Anyway, count me as another lab chemist who says pure ethanol definitely has an odour. I used to work with chromatography-grade ultra-pure stuff (more than a little of which went in our drinks) and if you stick your nose over the flask and inhale, believe me you can smell it.

Personally I'd find it pretty hard to believe that a highly volatile organic liquid wouldn't have a noticeable odour. Our noses are pretty well equipped to pick up organic molecules like that.
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  #36  
Old 07-25-2013, 09:10 AM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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This zombie was started in Feb 2005, and then revived three times: in Feb 2011, Oct 2012, and July 2013. Does that set a record?
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  #37  
Old 07-25-2013, 09:41 AM
johnpost johnpost is online now
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zombie or no

ethanol does have an odor.

there have been other three resurrection zombies. i recall a four or fiver but have no cite.
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  #38  
Old 07-25-2013, 12:20 PM
rock party rock party is offline
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We had a guy in our carpool a few years back who might have been an alcoholic. When he'd get in the car in the morning, you'd get a boozy smell. He drank only vodka, he wasn't drinking in the morning, and he had showered. (We quizzed him on all this on the way to work, and I believe him).
Vodka definitely made him smell like, well, like he had alcohol in him. And from a distance.
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  #39  
Old 08-22-2013, 04:12 AM
FrostedPony FrostedPony is offline
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No stereotyping intended, BUT.... On the day after certain holidays, i.e. days when people might be imbibing in their chosen type of alcohol, I can actually smell the fumes from vodka. Don't know whether the many, many Russians in my neighborhood have drunk enough of the stuff that it's spraying from their pores or what. All I know is this -- Vodka does, indeed, have a distinct, unmistakable odor; it is a chemical, after all.
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  #40  
Old 08-22-2013, 05:39 AM
FrostedPony FrostedPony is offline
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Originally Posted by FrostedPony View Post
No stereotyping intended, BUT.... On the day after certain holidays, i.e. days when people might be imbibing in their chosen type of alcohol, I can actually smell the fumes from vodka. Don't know whether the many, many Russians in my neighborhood have drunk enough of the stuff that it's spraying from their pores or what. All I know is this -- Vodka does, indeed, have a distinct, unmistakable odor; it is a chemical, after all.


Of course, the more logical explanation is that there are some resourceful folks utilizing their homeland's countryside custom of distilling moonshine vodka or samogon.

Last edited by FrostedPony; 08-22-2013 at 05:39 AM..
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  #41  
Old 08-22-2013, 04:19 PM
Bob Blaylock Bob Blaylock is offline
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Originally Posted by Superhal View Post
Because the alcohol smell is so strong, how can any other smell be distinguished?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swords to Plowshares View Post
Pure alcohol does not have an odor. Rather, it has an anesthetizing effect on the nose, but that is a chemesthetic effect (in the same family as hot, cold, astringent, etc), not an olfactory one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
I find it hard to believe that alcohol has no odor. When I open a concentrated source of alcohol there is always something in the air that causes me to not enjoy the sensation coming from my nose. It may have an effect on the nose that makes it not technically an odor, but anything that causes your nose to relay information about the content of the air you breathed in sure sounds like an odor.
I do not have any vodka or other “drinking” alcohol in my home, but I do have a can of denatured ethanol. I just now opened it and took a sniff. It definitely produces a sensation in my nose, that I would call a smell or an odor. I suppose there's room to argue that there is some technical difference between how it reacts with my nose, and how something that conforms to the strictest possible definition of a “smell” reacts with my nose, but any such difference is not at all apparent to me, and I would be very much inclined to dismiss any such claimed difference as irrelevant. As far as I am concerned, it is a smell.

I have to admit to a small possibility that what I am smelling is not the ethanol, but the denaturant, but on carefully examining the label, I see that the denaturant is methanol, another form of alcohol; so this is pure (or reasonably close to it) alcohol, just not pure ethanol.

I also have a bottle of pure isopropanol (“rubbing alcohol”, minus the water) and taking a sniff of it, I find that it also has a distinctive smell, different than the denatured ethanol.
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:36 PM
skdo23 skdo23 is offline
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While I was growing up, my parents and most of my friends' parents could easily pick up on it. Also, the ability to not only detect the scent of vodka, but also hone in on its exact source amongst a crowd of students seemed to be a prerequisite for serving as a dance chaperone at the middle school I attended.

ETA: It was technically possible to mask the smell with cigarettes. True, this was not without its own problems, but back then (early 1980s) it would have been considered the lesser of two evils.

Last edited by skdo23; 08-22-2013 at 06:40 PM..
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