Synthetic or "chemical" smells you love

A few off the top of my head:


Moth balls.

Permanent Markers.
You guys?

I assume you want to exclude things that were meant to smell good, like perfume or room deodorizers.

I like that new car smell.

When I was a kid I used to love the smell of freshly printed ditto sheets.

Freshly printed money also.

Gasoline and oil, probably because it reminds me of my father.

All good ones. Love that almondy smell from mimeographs too.

And yes, mainly stuff that incidentally smells great, despite or perhaps even because of their pungency or possibly toxic fumes.

I suppose I meant a Ditto Machine/Spirit Duplicator. Apparently mimeographs are a different, ink based process.

Also modeling glue, and certain epoxies.

Not in any coherent order:

  1. Burning aviation fuel; Jet A, JP-5, JP-8, & 100LL.
  2. Burning rubber. Think drag slicks.
  3. Fresh turned soil. It is chemical isn’t it?
  4. Hot iron or steel.
  5. Oil & grease, but not 90Wt gear lube.
  6. The unique blend of coal smoke and steam from an old railroad locomotive.
  7. O-Zone, from large generators.
  8. The smell of Spring. You know, daffodils, tulips, lavender, etc.
  9. Hot brass from brazing.
  10. Some, not all, of the cutting fluids used in machine work.
  11. The clean smell after a spring rain shower.
  12. Cedar, In almost any form.

Now some of these may not seem to be chemical to some folks. My Chemistry instructor explained to me that almost everything is chemical.

I will leave it to you-all to make the determination as to what on my list counts and what does not.

Hell, I’d say all of it does, and a great list. I’ve been in plenty of machine or tool and die shops myself. Though some on your list are more of a complex or layering of chemicals, it’s true that almost anything can be considered chemical if defined as bonds between atoms.

Narrowing down specific odors I suppose would be preferred. Ozone being a great example from your list of odors you come across in nature.

Just thought of the sulfuric smell of lighting off fireworks.

Toluene’s a nice solvent smell - used in glues and reminds me of making airfix models as a kid.
Quite like the initial minty aroma of methylene chloride, but it soon becomes unpleasant.
There’s a teflon spray marketed for bikes called GT85 which smells nice - not sure what the solvent is.

Weird one, as I’ve never smoked, but I quite like the smell of cigarette smoke outside in the fresh air.

White-out correction fluid

Creosote- used to love the smell of the T station at Logan airport because of that.

Colorforms children’s toys

Nail polish- I love it when girls put it on near me so I can smell it.

New shower curtain liners

Ninja’d, I came in here to say that!

I loath smoking, but I often enjoy the first few whiffs of someone’s freshly lit cigarette. It’s good for a second or two, but then I can’t stand it.

The smell when propane burners are in use.

That electronic smell when you first plug in some new device.

Gojo. The kind that was around in the seventies and came in a can. Not this orange nonsense of today - that stuff in a can was the stuff my grandfather, my father, my brother, and my first love all used when cleaning their hands after working on cars and to me had the most wonderful smell.

This. I have a Pavlovian response to it: in my mind it’s inextricably associated with airports and travel or visits from out-of-town guests.

Me loves LYSOL! I just love that smell.

Napalm, but only in the mornings :wink:

  • I AM a big fan of 90wt gear oil. Aphrodesiac–I can’t explain that though.
  • Spent gunpowder & burnt gun oil
  • Bleach
  • WD-40
  • The first few drops of rain on cement
  • Diesel exhaust

Most of the “synthetic” or “chemical” odors mentioned in all the above posts repulse me, even if they have kind of a nice scent, because I’ve got them firmly associated in my mind with TOXIC!

Several of the more natural odors mentioned, however, are quite nice.

Zippo lighters.
Typewash and white gasoline mixed with printer’s ink.
GoJo or Goop hand cleaner (the white stuff).
Ditto sheets (back in the 70s- they changed from some kind of aromatic hydrocarbons to methanol later).
That ozoney, crisp electric scent from small motors used in toys.

A new book can sometimes smell pretty good. I’m not sure what it is though – the paper, the ink, the glue?

-Gasoline, but only on a very hot day and mixed with the scent of cut grass.
-Tamiya brand model paint. None of the other brands of paint i’ve used have this smell.
-The overall scent of a home garage: concrete, dust, old grass clipping and oil from the mower, etc…
-Tar. Love the smell of roofing or paving thanks to the hot tar. Maybe because of the T-gel shampoo my sister has always used.