New project to recreate smells from centuries ago

What did the sixteenth century smell like? Scientists, historians and experts will find out. There is a $3.3 million project to find and recreate aromas from the 16th century. The project is called "Odeuropa". It will research our cultural heritage of smells and develop an online encyclopaedia. This will include biographies of smells that are specific to the past. It will also contain insights into the emotions created by the smells in past centuries.

The team said: "Smells shape our experience of the world, yet we have little sensory information about the past." It will research what the key scents are that have shaped our cultures. Researchers will extract "smell data" from digital text and put it in a database. This will safeguard our "olfactory heritage". The team wants people to know many smells. It said it will: "Encourage people to consider both the foul and the fragrant elements of [our] olfactory past."