…The best aroma in this world is Coffee Aroma....
Perhaps, I am not the best person to work with aromatic compound. It is not about recognizing the smell of any aromatic compound but it is because I easily getting fainting and vomiting when I smell something nasty. Not being a chemist is the best gift the heaven ever gave me.
Perfume, deodorant, cologne or whatever… most of them smell nasty to me 😦
If a perfume can make me fainting, I can imagine how thioacetone work for me. It is perhaps the worst aroma human ever smell.
Thioacetone caused the evacuation of Freiburg city in 1889. The smell disaster come from a Leeds soap factory, Whitehall Soap. Attemps to make thioacetone by cracking trithioacetone produced an offensive smell which spread rapidly over a great area of town causing fainting, vomiting and a panic evacuation. In 1980, Whitehall reported the odor as a ‘fearful’.
Until the mid 1960s several chemist looked thiokenos as sources of new polymer. An in-depth analysis took place in Esso Research Station in Abingdon, UK, where Victor Burnop and Kenneth Latham got to directly experience the Freiburg Horror. It was perhaps foolhardy experience of cracking trithioacetone in.
They take up the story in a report in 1967.
“Recently we found ourselves with an odour problem beyond our worst expectations. During early experiments, a stopper jumped from a bottle of residues, and, although replaced at once, resulted in an immediate complaint of nausea and sickness from colleagues working in a building two hundred yards away. Two of our chemists who had done no more than investigate the cracking of minute amounts of trithioacetone found themselves the object of hostile stares in a restaurant and suffered the humiliation of having a waitress spray the area around them with a deodorant. The odours defied the expected effects of dilution since workers in the laboratory did not find the odours intolerable … and genuinely denied responsibility since they were working in closed systems. To convince them otherwise, they were dispersed with other observers around the laboratory, at distances up to a quarter of a mile, and one drop of either acetone gem-dithiol or the mother liquors from crude trithioacetone crystallisations were placed on a watch glass in a fume cupboard. The odour was detected downwind in seconds. he offensive odors released by cracking trithioacetone to prepare linear poly(thioacetone) are confined and eliminated by working in a large glove box with an alkaline permanganate seal, decontaminating all apparatus with alkaline permanganate, eliminating obnoxious vapors with nitrous fumes generated by a few grams of Cu in HNO3, and destroying all residues by running them into the center of a wood fire in a brazier.”
By the way, as far as I know, there are still 2 candidates for dreadful smell -propane dithiol or 4-methyl-4-sulfanylpentan-2-one. It is unlikely that anyone else will be brave enough to resolve the controversy and find the winner (and I hope you don’t!).