Flying stinks most of the time, and not just metaphorically; when a bathroom leaks or a dog goes no. 2, it literally stinks. But now, there's a device that emulates the good smells and vibes you get once you're finally on vacation, in the form of a mammoth "scent globe" pumping out the aromas of different countries before you fly.
Installed with the help of fragrance boutique Design in Scent, the vacation vaporizer inside London Heathrow Airport evokes the scents of South Africa, Thailand, Japan, China, and Brazil, some of the most popular destinations among travelers flying from the UK. Thankfully, for everyone's olfactory senses, Kolkata is not one of the most popular destinations from Heathrow.
So what does an entire country smell like? According to the airport's press release, Thailand smells like lemongrass, coconut, and chili; Japan’s a combination of green tea, seaweed, and ambergris (a synthetic "waxy substance, solidified in the digestive systems of whales"); China’s an "aromatic" blend of tea, Osmanthus flower, and bamboo; and Brazil’s a heady mix of tobacco, leather, and coffee, with hints of jasmine and rainforest. Iceland smells like your own dried snot and frostbite.
OK, we made the last one up. But South Africa’s aroma, meant to evoke “the adventures of a safari”, is made up of earth, tribal incense, and Hyraceum, aka “the petrified and rocklike excrement composed of urine and feces excreted by the Cape Hyrax” (a kind of badger).
Vacation is all about those little moments -- so stop and smell the Cape Hyrax crap to really soak it in.
Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.