NASA Developed A Perfume That Smells Like Space So Astronauts Won’t Be Surprised By Odour

by : Emily Brown on :
NASA Developed A Perfume That Smells Like Space So Astronauts Won't Be Surprised By OdourEau de Space/Kickstarter/PA Images

A perfume that smells like space may be released to the public after it was originally created to help astronauts prepare for the odour. 

I have to admit, I’d never thought about what space might smell like, until now. I just assumed because there’s no air, there’d be nothing to sniff. Plus, astronauts wear helmets, so would they really be able to smell anything anyway?


As it turns out, they can, and in an effort to help astronauts prepare their senses ahead of missions, NASA decided to try and develop a perfume that captured the unique stench of the stars.


In 2008, NASA contracted Steve Pearce to try and recreate the smell; a challenge that took approximately four years to accomplish.

Astronaut Peggy Whitson, who is a former resident of the International Space Station, previously told CNN space smells ‘kind of like a smell from a gun, right after you fire the shot’.


She went on to describe the smell as ‘bitter’ in addition to being ‘smoky and burned’. Pearce took his inspiration from the accounts of astronauts, saying he’d heard space described as ‘a mix of gunpowder, seared steak, raspberries and rum.’


While the more curious residents of Earth may have longed to get a whiff of the perfume, it wasn’t ever made available to the public. However, now a kickstarter called Eau de Space is pushing to make it available.

The site explains:


Decades ago, NASA contracted specialists to developed the ‘smell of space’ to help train astronauts before launch into orbit. NASA’s goal of simulating Space during training is to eliminate any surprises Astronauts might experience in Outer Space.

The Smell of Space has been locked behind “Need to Know”, Astronaut only field training, and Red Tape for years. Through shear determination, grit, a lot of luck, and a couple of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, we got it out.

Now we need your help to mass manufacturer it so that everyone can experience the Smell of Space for themselves.

Perfume that smells like spaceEau de Space/Kickstarter

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Eau de Space product manager Matt Richmond said the main goal of the Kickstarter is to increase interest in STEM learning for students through what he described as ‘experiential education’, CNN reports. He hopes Eau de Space will start the discussion, with parents, teachers and scientists taking it from there.

The Kickstarter had a goal of £1,595, but it exceeded its target within a matter of days, and has managed to earn a whopping £20,250 at the time of writing, June 28.


Commenting on the achievement, the creators said:

We couldn’t be more grateful. This week our team is busy ramping up our marketing efforts to continue spreading the word, sourcing our fragrance bottles/packaging/labels, and lining up logistics for fulfillment.


With curiosity about the smell of space proving rife, Richmond revealed the creators are looking into releasing a fragrance called Smell of the Moon in the future.


While gunpowder may not be the most enticing smell in the world, the perfume is sure to be a talking point.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Science, Astronaut, NASA, Now, Space


Kickstarter and 1 other
  1. Kickstarter

    What does Outer Space smell like? NASA designed Fragrance.

  2. CNN

    This is what space smells like