The 16 Most Disliked Odors

About the 16 most disliked odors, a description of the smell and where they are found.


In a test conducted by English chemist R. W. Moncrieff in 1966, the following 16 odors proved to be the least liked out of a group of 132 odors. Starting with the least liked:

Odorant Type of Odor Where Found

1. Thiomalic acid Pungent, rather like burnt rubber Synthetic rubber; rust inhibitor; anthiolinine (a drug used in combating worm diseases)

2. Carbon disulfide Spiritous, nauseating Viscose rayon; cellophane; veterinary medicine

3. p-Chlorothiophenol Pungent, burnt, sweetish Oil additives; dyes

4. Triethylamine Ammoniacal, organic, fishy Liquid rocket propellant; an agent for curing and hardening plastics

5. Piperidine Sharp, pungent, ammoniacal Black pepper

6. Ethyl mercaptan Foul, alliaceous (garliclike) The odorant in natural gas

7. Civet, Abyssinian Unpleasant, sweet, fecal Secreted by male and female civet cats; used as a fixative in perfume

8. Phenyl acetylene Coal gas type A synthetic compound used in chemical production

9. Formaldehyde Formalin, hospitals Hospitals; biology labs; wood smoke

10. Chlorophyll, oil-soluble Rank, unpleasant The greenish pigment in plants

11. n-Butyric acid Sour perspiration Butter; artificial flavorings

12. Herring oil Oily, fishy Derived from herring; used in soaps and lubricants

13. Castor oil Oily, nauseating Derived from castor plant beans

14. Hydrazine hydrate Dull, ammoniacal Rocket propellants; antibacterial drugs

15. Pyridine Rank, gassy, repellent A trace constituent of coal tar; used in textile dyes and synthesis of vitamins and drugs

16. Hair-waving lotion (thiovanate type) Sulfidy, very unpleasant Hair-waving lotion

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