A crazy Kickstarter campaign is promising to deliver the first perfume to smell like space. The scent was first developed by NASA more than 10 years ago to give training astronauts a preview of the unique odor outside Earth’s atmosphere. Until recently, the fragrance has been “Need-to-Know.”
A company called Eau de Space is producing a cologne of the same name using NASA’s now declassified fragrance. According to the makers, it took years of red tape and “a couple of Freedom of Information Act requests” to get the formula and exclusive rights to sell it.
So what does space smell like? International Space Station Science Officer Don Pettit said that the scent enters the craft through the airlock after a spacewalk and lingers on the suits and helmets. He said it’s hard to describe because it doesn’t have a comparable equivalent.
“The best description I can come up with is metallic; a rather pleasant sweet metallic sensation,” said Pettit. “It reminded me of my college summers where I labored for many hours with an arc welding torch repairing heavy equipment for a small logging outfit. It reminded me of pleasant sweet smelling welding fumes.”
Others have compared it to a combination of smells like charred steak, gunpowder, and raspberries. Of course, it raises the question, who would want to smell like welding fumes or burnt steak and raspberries? Clearly, this is a novelty item intended to introduce the general public and especially young students to the scent and not something to wear on “date night.”
During the Kickstarter campaign, the company will donate most of the bottles to STEM programs at K-12 schools. The minimum pledge of $15 will get one of your local schools a bottle. If you want a bottle for yourself, it’s $29—one for you and one for your school’s STEM program.
There is very little chance that this gimmicky perfume will sell outside of Kickstarter. The company says this is a “one-off production” with no plans to mass-produce. Once the campaign is over, good luck finding a bottle for anything less than a ridiculous price on eBay.
The demand for the fragrance is higher than anyone anticipated. The company has already crushed its modest goal of $1,969. As of publication, the campaign has collected $124,658 in support. If you are curious enough about it, you can still grab one for yourself and a nearby school until the campaign ends at 2:31am CDT on August 17.