What is "pharmacy smell" and why does whiskey smell like that?

What is "pharmacy smell" and why does whiskey smell like that?

3-03 Aroma Chemicals

Previous questionWhy do those who drink to the "delirium tremens" see devils and humanoids, and not angels, for example?
Next questionExplain why such a pose is funny in all Volochkova's photographs?

answers (2)

Answer 1
August, 2021

With your permission, I will start a little from afar, but I will try not to abuse your attention. The mechanism by which humans identify smells is essentially a classic pattern recognition scheme. Throughout our life, the smells that we have caught are recorded in a kind of filing cabinet and, most importantly, each sample of the smell is inextricably linked with a real physical object that is the source of this smell. When we smell an object, volatile molecules of a fragrance enter our olfactory epithelium, interact with a number of receptors, this in turn triggers electrical impulses that our brain must interpret: the smell is compared with samples from the "card index", there is the most similar variant. That is why even if you have never met, say, the substance phenoxanol (synthetic and not found in nature) before, you will definitely define its smell as the smell of a rose, because the olfactory profile of phenoxanol is very close to citronellol - a substance that largely determines the smell of blooming roses ...

An interesting thing happens when the brain is not able to reliably match the smell with those that it already knows. Usually such a “new” smell is perceived as “strange”, “chemical” - since a substance emitting an incomprehensible smell can be potentially dangerous, the brain gives us a signal to be on the alert. Sometimes such unusual smells can be perceived by us as "pharmacy" or "hospital" - often it is the pharmacy and medical institutions that are the place where we encounter unusual smells. Some smells are firmly associated with us with a first-aid kit simply because we practically never come across them in everyday life: the smell of camphor, diethyl ether, valerian tincture or Vishnevsky ointment, a furious combination of very intense and specific smelling substances (sugary xeroform and hot smoked tar ).

The whiskey drink has a rather complex aroma, the main components that form the smell of whiskey are higher alcohols , various aldehydes (including vanillin, lilac aldehyde with its characteristic "plastic" aroma, furfural, which gives a caramel-almond hue), esters (primarily pineapple-apple-banana ethylhexanoate - it alone may well create a sensation of whiskey aroma in a perfume composition), phenols (eugenol, guaiacol, cresols) whiskey-specific lactones methyloctanolides that impart coconut nuance and even substances with a fruity-floral scent such as phenyle thyl alcohol and beta-damascenone, which are well known to chemists and perfumers as substances contained in the rose. Phenols, especially cresols with a complex leather-animalistic “medicinal” scent, can cause a “medicinal” sensation in some whiskeys - they are formed when the malt is dried using burning peat. Similar substances, for example, are contained in tar and the above-mentioned Vishnevsky ointment.

Answer 2
August, 2021

I would not say that whiskey smells like a pharmacy. Because the pharmacy smells of medicinal substances, the dust of which flies in the air. This is a very peculiar smell from a mixture of iodoform, salicylates, tar and a lot of everything else.

Whiskey smells like alcohol and fusel oils with a slight shade of a wooden barrel

Related question

Is it possible to smell the universe, and if so, what does it smell like?

Read more

What does Chinese goods smell like and are these smells dangerous?

Read more

What does snow smell like?

Read more

Cowboy Cures | Natural Remedies and Immune Boosters

What does it really smell like on the street when it seems to us that it “smells like spring”?

Read more

What does the elderly smell like?

Read more

What does your job smell like?

Read more

What does human ashes smell like?

Read more

What does blacks / black women smell like?

Read more

Surviving a Day in the Victorian Era (24 Hours in the Past) | Reel Truth History

Why does everyone think the vagina smells like fish?

Read more

What does Vladimir Putin smell like?

Read more

What does the rails smell like?

Read more

What does the human brain smell like?

Read more

What does the subway smell like?

Read more

PIPE SMOKING: WHY I SMOKE A PIPE. (THE ORIGINAL BEARD FRESHENER)

What does the person inside smell like during the operation?

Read more

I am 15 years old. Why does my mouth smell like feces?

Read more

Sometimes, when coughing, small white, offensive lumps are coughing up from the throat. Does this mean that the breath smells like that all the time? Is it okay?

Read more

What do girls smell like?

Does this change with age? Guys, I ask you without banal vulgarities, you know what about.

Read more

What do pandas smell like?

Read more

What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Whiskey Every Night?

Why are there no large discount promotions in pharmacies like in supermarkets?

Read more

Why do female genitals smell like herring?

Read more