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Scent Scientists

August 11, 2012


Kids like to discover new things around them and discovering flavors and smells around them.  I did a little smell survey with my group of students to different kinds of scents using cocoa, chili powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.  Since all of the colors were fairly close, it made really have to use their sense of smell to determine what the items were.  Anything can be used, but I wouldn’t suggest anything that is too offensive to the nostrils.  You want your students to trust that you won’t put anything in front of them that would be too yucky!  It is like Bernie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans from Harry Potter, you love the variety and it’s fun trying new flavors, until you get to the ear wax or one of the other discussing flavors.  The same goes for smells!

Then it’s time to make their own perfume.  If it is summer time, go out to the garden and pick some rose petals, lavender, honeysuckle or other fragrant flowers in your garden.  If not, check out some spices that make fabulous sense: clove, cinnamon, nutmeg to name a few. This is a kid friendly version that kids enjoy the process, as well as, the product.  The fragrant perfume with keep for a few weeks because it has no preservatives.

My students brought in jars of various sizes and shapes beforehand.  They made a great grouping on the table for when they showed them off!

  • The first thing is they need to chop or tear everything into small pieces.  Each child should have about 1 cup of natural ingredients.
  • Then place the small pieces on a coffee filter, insert into a plastic cup.
  • Pour 1 cup of water on the ingredients and let set overnight.
  • The next day, carefully wring out the coffee filter so all that is left is the water.
  • Pour the fragrant water into a small container with a lid or atomizer.

Another version is to cook the water down but, with a group, that would be difficult to do and still have everyone be able to make their own scent.


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