In Fast Food Nation, author Eric Schlosser described how chemicals are used to artificially create the ordinary smells (and tastes) of... everything.
Robert Blackson has taken this idea a step further: Why not engineer the smells of things that couldn't ever ordinarily be smelled? His new book is If There Ever Was: A Book of Extinct and Impossible Smells. It has scratch 'n' sniff pages that re-create the odors of Russian gym socks on the Mir space station, extinct plants, the afterglow of a nuclear explosion, and the surface of the sun.
So did this nasal-blazer of conceptual scent art just invent the scents? Nope. Blackson worked with pros: A NASA scientist, chemists, perfumers, botanists, etc. Regardless, Blackson has joined the group of authors whose books unquestionably stink. (I'm a charter member!)
The book is also a companion volume for the current exhibit at the Reg Vardy Gallery. Tell them you read about it here, and get free admission!