This might be considered a half humorous question, but I am still curious here.

There is that typical smell that clings to your hands after rummaging around in or tidying a typical spices drawer/box/rack. It does not seem to be identifiable as one particular spice. More or less the same in every household I have been to. Slightly irritates the nose, but not really that similar to any kind of pepper. Faint similarity to vegetable stock powder, but more pungent. Some BO aspect to it, but no discernible cumin aroma.

What makes it up - or is it really always stale pepper and stock powder conspiring?

  • 1
    Consider that drawer have a typical somehow disagreeable scent . It smells like a drawer is quite a possible way to say in my language. Spices should make it better :)) – Alchimista Mar 25 '18 at 11:11
  • This took a few seconds. And that scent is often but not universally disagreeable - and that is very context dependent anyway. – rackandboneman Mar 25 '18 at 11:20
  • I comment because I would have to dig further for an answer. If I understand what you mean, you smell the grandma's furniture scent or heritage scent with overlying spicy notes. Surely the pungent comes from pepper and other "spicy" spices. Here is a odours wheel which, if does not answer your question, surely goes in the right direction. With spices, the outer parts of the wheel can get even more specific., ie the major volatile of pepper cinnamon and so on rather than general class chemical names. hyperallergic.com/371554/… – Alchimista Mar 25 '18 at 11:22
  • Ps: for instance, while using cumin, I associates it right to drawer smell! Indeed I use it when recipes call for it but I am not a big fan. – Alchimista Mar 25 '18 at 11:28

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