Follow Your Nose or Your Google Map

New web site maps out scents

Feeling nosy? A new Japanese-language website ( describes different odors from around the world and pinpoints their locations via Google Maps.

The "nioi-bu"—or "smell club"—has nearly 200 members from all over the globe who have registered more than 160 scents, including cow dung, verbena soap, and "cats with halitosis."

As of Tuesday, only four smells have been reported out of North America, one of which is right here in Chicago. Near the intersection of North Fairbanks Court and East Erie St, the report reads, "A room filled with the aroma of lightly burned coffee."

Chris Kelly of the Japanese Information Center translated for the Chicago Tribune. "Then it goes on to say, ‘All around the United States it smells like coffee you would get at offices and schools."

Another Midwestern report comes from a young woman at a dormitory at Northwest Missouri State University.

"American body odor and perfume and so on create the smell of living in American dormitories. An interesting harmony is created. It's kind of a sweet smell on our floor but the boys' floor smells ... not so good."

Thank goodness for coffee.

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