October 24, 2014
TOKYO (AP) - Japanese are taking their noses global with a Web
site that describes different odors around the world and pinpoints
where they can be found on a map.
Launched in December, the "Nioi-bu," or Smell Club, has
registered more than 160 scents around the world, ranging from
"steam coming out of a rice cooker" to "used socks in the
summer," and pinpointed their locations on a Google map.
Nearly 200 members, called "smellists," have joined the
Japanese-language only site, said Kayo Matsubara, spokeswoman of
its operator, KAYAC Inc.
Users can either click on a balloon on the world map on the Web
site, or use an index to find each scent if they're not yet on the
Some of what they report: "A toasty odor of cow dung" in
Fujisawa City, just southwest of Tokyo. In Kamakura, eastern Japan,
"cats with halitosis" were suspected to be roaming about.
"All that is missing on the web is a smelling function,"
Matsubara said. "That's our next challenge."
Not all reports are of stenches, with others including
mouth-watering dishes, fresh laundry, greenery and scented soap.
From Paris, there is a "scent of verbena soap near a monastery,"
and from Thailand's ancient capital Ayuthaya, a mix of "incense,
grass, dirt and wild dogs."