Imagine my wonder and amazement when I turned on my computer today and read on Google's front page: "New! What’s that smell? Find out with Google Nose."
Clicking through, I learn that Google Nose features include:
Your internet sommelier: Expertly curated Knowledge Panels pair images, descriptions and aromas.
Take a wiff: The Google Aromabase - 15 M+ scentibytes.
Don't ask, don't smell: For when you're wary of your query - SafeSearch included.
Google Nose BETA leverages new and existing technologies to offer the sharpest olfactory experience available:
Street Sense vehicles have inhaled and indexed millions of atmospheric miles.
Android Ambient Odour Detection collects smells via the world's most sensible mobile operating system.
SMELLCD™ 1.8+ high-resolution compatible for precise and controlled odours.
Clicking the link leads me to the "Google Aromabase", with a variety of captioned thumbnails. A tap on "Unattended Litter Box" reveals the description: "Distinct bouquet of ammonia with an earthy undertone". A smack on "Hot Springs" flashes "Boisterous bursts of sulfur with a hint of pencil lead on the nose". "Permanent Marker"? "Rubbing alcohol poured into a puddle of gas". "Garlic Breath"? "Allyl methyl sulfide".
The odd stab at waggishness includes "Cologne: Perfume with a hint of testosterone" and "Perfume: Cologne with a hint of estrogen". Kee-yuk.
Some of the terms are so pungently evocative that my eager clicks on their thumbnails end only in disappointment. The skin-crawlingly intimate nooks'n'cranies smell of "Belly Button" is mystifyingly re-imagined as "An organic tweed cotton potato sack". And "Grandpa's Hat", which surely conjures decades of sweat, sebum, and Grecian Formula, gets a sanitizing makeover to "Strong coffee and the forest". In a hat?
Just when I'm about to offer my consulting services to Google, I notice one last thumbnail: a picture of a whoopie cushion captioned "April Fools' Day". The description: "Immature and cheesy, with a quick, bright finish".
Sounds about right. But Google, I'm still offering my services.