Madeleine is the 'camera' that records your favorite smells

By on July 2, 2013, 8:30 AM

Smell is one of the strongest and most pronounced of our five basic senses yet unless you’re there in the moment, there’s no effective way to capture and share the experience with others – until now. A device known as Madeleine claims to be just that, an odor-capturing camera.

It’s the next logical step as we already have cameras to capture still images, videos and audio – or at least that’s what designer Amy Radcliff would like you to think. She notes the device works in much the same way as a 35mm camera. Just as a camera records the light information of a visual scene to create a replica (photo), the Madeleine records the molecular information of a smell.

Here’s how it works. The source of a particular odor is placed under a glass dome that is connected to the Madeleine via a plastic tube. Next, you’ll need to load an odor trap – a device that resembles a test tube – onto a series of tubes connected to the odor camera. After that, simply turn the machine on and wait for it to absorb the smell.

Unfortunately the process doesn’t provide instant feedback like a digital camera. Instead, the odor trap can be submitted to a lab for analysis. Once this step is complete and the scent has been recreated, you’ll receive a smell memory capsule back in the mail.

Radcliff believes the concept, dubbed scent-ography, could become a more ubiquitous way to consume and record the world.

User Comments: 9

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cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

No thanks!

The fact that favorite smells are so infrequent makes them favorites. If the frequency increases by capturing smell, it would then be less enjoyable.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Very cool idea and probably attractive for world travelers. I went to Japan once and the city there had a unique smell that I'll probably never again experience.

But how would I have put part of the city in the 'odor trap?'

JC713 JC713 said:

This is a cool idea. The "commercial" itself felt pretty playful. I dont see this being practical just yet though.

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

I can see many adolescents doing many bad things with this... and husbands messing with their wives. No longer are we limited to Dutch ovens!

I'm now coining the term "Papa Rollin'" (like Rick Rolling except with a scent of my special flavor)

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I wouldn't keep this in the toilet.

VitalyT VitalyT said:


Without a reverse process of emitting smell based on a chemical formula it is of no interest to consumer.

It is even less interesting from knowing that odor-emitting machines were already developed:


Guest said:

So here comes a story, connect every single thing that you ever posted on the internet with every single thing that can be connected to you by any other mean and you have a great database of your preferences. Then all the marketing pri$$s need to do is get their hands on that database and bombard you with emotionally charged set of audio-visual stuff plus scent and if you don't buy sth then wow you must be a very bulletproof person, congrats!

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

I wouldn't keep this in the toilet.

I would keep it in the toilet, and have it auto-post on Facebook. Some good content has been missed on my wall of events there, and now it will thrive with updates...

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

I would keep it in the toilet, and have it auto-post on Facebook. Some good content has been missed on my wall of events there, and now it will thrive with updates...

Yeah, that could raise a bit of a stink.

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