2002, 2018
  • C&EN - The Chemistry of Air Fresheners Preview

How do air fresheners get rid of bad smells? – in C&EN

By |February 20th, 2018|

Click to view full graphic on the C&EN site

Some air fresheners just mask bad smells – but others claim to eliminate odours completely. What’s the chemistry behind these claims? The latest edition of Periodic Graphics in C&EN takes a look! Click here to view the full graphic on the C&EN site.


1007, 2017
  • The Chemistry of Lavender & How it Repels Moths

Why Can Lavender Be Used to Repel Moths? – The Chemistry of Lavender

By |July 10th, 2017|

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Hanging in the wardrobes of our flat, alongside our clothes, are a couple of small bags of dried lavender. Like many others, we keep them there to ward off clothes moths, but while offhandedly discussing this a couple of weeks ago I realised that I had absolutely no idea if there was scientific evidence to back up this repellent effect. So, I did what any good scientist would, and started a quest to find out whether lavender’s anti-moth powers were the real deal, or as scientifically holey as the moth-eaten clothes it claims to ward against!


2706, 2017
  • The Smelly Chemistry of the Titan Arum Corpse Flower

The Smelly Chemistry of the Titan Arum ‘Corpse Flower’

By |June 27th, 2017|

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Usually, you’d want to stay as far away as possible from a smell described variously as like ‘dead rat’, ‘mouldy bath mat’, or ‘cabbages and death’. However, the residents of Cambridge, UK, have been flocking to the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens over the past two days to sample this unpleasant sounding aroma for themselves. The explanation lies in the source of the smell: the rare occurrence of a Titan Arum plant flowering.


2206, 2017
  • Aroma Chemistry The Smell of Garbage

Talking Trash – The Chemistry Behind the Smell of Garbage

By |June 22nd, 2017|

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As the bin in your kitchen slowly fills up, it also cranks up the stench, to the point where you have to hold your breath every time you open it. Nothing you put in it smelled that bad so where does this horrendous odour come from? In this graphic we take a look at some of the chemical compounds offending your nostrils, and how they got there.


2104, 2017
  • Sant Jordi St George's Day Chemistry

Celebrating Sant Jordi (Saint George’s Day) Chemistry with ICIQ

By |April 21st, 2017|

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April 23 is Saint George’s Day, celebrated in particular by a number of countries and cities where Saint George is the patron saint. One of these is, of course, England, though here the celebrations tend to be quite muted and minimal, and certainly nothing in comparison to the merriment that heralds St Patrick’s Day. In Catalonia, however, it prompts a good deal more in the way of celebration, and I made this graphic for the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia to illustrate some of its facets.


1402, 2017
  • The Chemistry of Roses

Valentine’s Day Special: The Chemistry of Roses

By |February 14th, 2017|

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Roses are the flower most closely associated with Valentine’s Day – and we’ve got chemistry to thank for both their colour and aroma! In this post we take a closer look at the chemical compounds involved.


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