Like most people, I think, I have a difficult time 'visualizing' scent in the same way as sounds or imagery. I can imagine an entire orchestra I've never heard as if they're playing next door, but when I try to do anything comparable with smell the sense of it never clicks into place. Same no matter how vivid the impression is, from geosmin to PCBTF. I suspect this might be because it isn't tied into language.
My hobby for the past couple of years has been writing fiction. Worldbuilding, for a large part, along with someone who I suppose finds it as amusing as I do, since they haven't fled yet. The topic of specific smells has come up several times, and I can't help wanting to attempt to put vague conceptions into something more tangible. A little bit creature design, a little bit environment design, the part that always gets overlooked. It may never be obviously relevant, but I want the impression to work with so very badly. Even edging towards one, whether or not I ever hit it, will help.
I'm looking for materials evocative of the following:
- ozone, aluminum, steel, flint, sparks, electricity, cathode ray tubes, molten metal, industry, brass
- gunpowder, sulfur, smoke, pipe tobacco, cigarettes, whiskey
- antiseptic, fluorescent lights, plastic, latex, blood and sweat
- moss, peat, topsoil, musty cave, stagnant pond
- desert, dust, dry grass, cactus, new bones
- fresh pomegranates, rotten apples, canned peaches
- books, paper, especially the non-archival kind that's gone crumbly and yellow, old glue
- what you get walking up the attic stairwell of a seventy-year-old house; I used to joke it was dead spiders and cannot otherwise describe it
- animalistic smells; most seem to be geared towards mammals, reptilian or amphibian would be a plus
Also suggestions for anything that might fit in well, even if not representative of any of these, would be appreciated. I'd love to hear "X is bright and floral, but it'll affect Y in such a manner, so it's worth considering."
I am not looking to create perfumes. A few of the results should be downright offputting, or at least certainly not something anyone would want to wear. I'm just trying to build something like a reference library for scent combinations that don't actually exist on Earth.
Thanks to anyone who read this far; my condolences and most sincere apologies to those who didn't.