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 map.
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.”
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