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Comet-Scented Perfume Smells Like Cat Piss

Jun 24, 2016 04:51 AM EDT
ESA Attempts To Land Probe On Comet
This November 13, 2014 handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows the surface of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet as seen from the Philae lander, which landed on the comet's surface yesterday. ESA, despite some malfunctions on the Philae craft, successfully landed it on the comet on November 12, 2014 making it the first man-made craft to ever land on a comet. The Philae lander, launched from the Rosetta probe, is a mini laboratory that will gather data on the comet.
(Photo : ESA via Getty Images)

A scent inspired by the 67P comet was created by a British scent firm, and it's not the most delightful of aromas.

The perfume inspired by the 67P comet, also known as Rosetta's comet, is a mixture of cat urine, rotten eggs and bitter almonds.

"I almost feel the smell as a physical presence inside my skull," wrote Jacob Aron of New Scientist after getting a whiff of the perfume for the first time.

Others in the team, though, said the smell is actually not so bad.

"I find it similar to lily," said Geraint Jones of University College London.

Colin Snodgrass from the Open University in Milton Keynes, together with members of the Rosetta mission team, commissioned the British scent firm The Aroma Company to create a perfume with the scent of the comet.

The perfume was inspired by the deathly stank of comet 67P, which smelled mostly of hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide as described by the European Space Agency's Philae lander, which landed on the comet's surface on 2014.

But the perfume has none of the poisonous compounds but was only made to reflect the smell

"Most of the coma is water vapor, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, and they don't smell of anything," Snodgrass said in a report from New Scientist. "We've picked the things that are the smelliest."

According to Snodgrass, the team plans to include samples of the scent in postcards to be handed out to attendees during the Royal Society summer exhibition to be held in London in July.

The Philae lander touched down the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014, more than a decade after it departed from Earth.

The spacecraft partially completed some of its experiments before its solar-powered batteries failed during mission.

According to, the probe woke up in June when the comet was approaching the sun. However, the German Aerospace Center said that the Philae is likely to be covered in dust by now and is too cold to continue mission.

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