GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

What do you think Serenity smells like?

POSTED BY: GOJIRO
UPDATED: Sunday, October 17, 2004 08:30
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Wednesday, October 13, 2004 5:57 PM

GOJIRO


Okay, this is just how my weird brain works, but I walked into my friend's house today and noticed how it smelled differently than mine. I won't bore you with the hows and whys, but it made me think that each home I've ever been to has its own unique smell.

So what do you think Serenity smells like? She's a pretty small boat, full of sweaty men, Inara's incense, burnt stuff (from the engineering fire), the leavings of whatever lived in her before Mal bought her, etc.

I've heard the INS and Mir smell/smelled pretty bad after a while. Serenity has the benefit of fresh atmo every once in a while, though.

Thoughts?

gojiro

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004 6:38 PM

CCT


HA! Good question, and one that made me laugh!

I KNOW EXACTLY what it smells like- and strangly it's one of my favorite smells, something that's hooked way down into the lizard part of my brain...

There is a particular smell that shops have- machine shops, auto garages, aircraft hangers. It's a combination of various oils, solvents, rubber, vinyls.. a little sweat too. The family business when I was little was auto/truck repair, so it's wired into my brain, when I smell it I think "home" and even though it's not a particulary comfortable environment, I'm instantly at ease.

Serenity is a big machine, with so many moving parts, miles of wiring, etc. Think more "living inside a machine" and less "posh RV" :)

I visited the Air and Space museum in DC a few years ago, and went out to their "Paul Garber" facility, which is a cluster of big metal buildings a ways out of town. All sorts of interesting aircraft stacked/stashed there, and thats where they restore stuff. (In many ways I found this much cooler than the neat and tidy displays on the mall.) Anyway, the second I walked in the door that smell hit me and I was stunned by how I suddenly felt "at home" :)

I'd really like to believe I'd feel the same way walking into Serenity! :)

cct

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004 7:11 PM

NEEDLESEYE


Oh, I have to agree that many places have their own scent/aroma/odor. :p I also agree with the idea that Serenity probably smells like a machine shop, maybe a metallic iron ridden scent, and possibly like a stinky airplane I was on once. All that recirculated air on a 12 hour flight causes some olfactory distress after a while. eww!
I think though that the dining/lounge probably smells like whatever all the protien laden food they eat.
Anyway, I can only imagine Inara's shuttle smells of scented oils, incense and some residual smells from that hookah she has there.
Jayne did say it smelled funny! :D

Keeper of Jayne's goggles. 8)

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004 9:54 PM

PURPLEBELLY


Not only is this a wonderful thread, it's inviolable by the movie. This could become the last bastion of the true Firefly fan. I can see it now: a huge convention of Universal glitz but, behind a display booth, a knot of Fireheads exchanging their plastic bags of customised odours

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Wednesday, October 13, 2004 10:47 PM

JAYNEZTOWN


As long as they got rid of the smell of that cattle poop

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 1:31 AM

FIREFLOOZYSUZIE


My guess: cattle/people sweat, incense, coffee, metal shop, old leather...and rosemary

Hamsters is nice. If you have enough rosemary.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 2:47 AM

UNCHARTEDOUTLAW


I'd probably have to say that the nearest Earth smell we have would be a machine shop. I've definitely worked in a couple before going into teaching. And it is a very distinct smell, too. Not bad...just metallic and kinda tangy.

-Taylor

Uncharted Outlaw!

Haulin' goods from one end of creation to th' other. Keepin' my nose clean 'round the Alliance. Rockin' the "Riviera" (67-K62) hardcore!

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 2:57 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


CCT wrote:
Quote:

There is a particular smell that shops have- machine shops, auto garages, aircraft hangers. It's a combination of various oils, solvents, rubber, vinyls.. a little sweat too. The family business when I was little was auto/truck repair, so it's wired into my brain, when I smell it I think "home" and even though it's not a particulary comfortable environment, I'm instantly at ease.


This is how I have imagined most of the ship smelling, especially the engine room. The smell of solvents, metal, perhaps a faint odor of sweat.

Of course other areas of the ship will smell differently. The cargo bay for one I can see smelling of fuel and oil from the Mule, perhaps a faint trace of the cows and their droppings. There might also be that slightly metallic smell where they scrub down the deck after hauling cargo.

The upper catwalks would smell vaguely of incense which escapes Inara's shuttle when she exits it to move around the ship.

The infirmary would smell very much like a hospital. Simon strikes me as very thorough in his chosen profession, so I imagine he keeps the place sterilized, smelling very much like a hospital.

The galley I would imagine smells of protien and perhaps slightly of wood w/ the large table they have that dominates the center of the room.

The bridge I see smelling of sweat and perhaps slightly of whatever cologne I imagine Wash wearing.

Jayne's quarters would smell of sweat and gun oil, perhaps a bit of propellant as well.

Kaylee's room would smell slightly of strawberries and grease.

Wash & Zoe's room would smell of candles and sweat.

Books room I could see smelling somewhat like a library, perhaps w/ a bit of incense.

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."


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Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:07 AM

HAWK


I can't believe nobody's said "like crotch".

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:13 AM

SHINYSEVEN


I wrote a story where Inara mentions the negative effect of "Eau de Cattel" on her clients.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 5:24 AM

MANTICHORUS


I have to agree w/Browncoat1's comprehensive run-down.

--------------------------------------------------
"To do just the opposite is also a form of imitation." -Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, Aphorisms.
--------------------------------------------------
"Never ask for a name. Ask instead what those you meet would like to be called" - Doctor Occult.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 6:24 AM

CHANNAIN

i DO aim to misbehave


Anybody here ever been inside a Fleet Farm? If you have never heard of such a thing, it is in fact a store, kind of a combination between Wal-Mart, Home Depot, an auto parts store and an equine tack and feed depot. The combined aroma smells like tires, new fabric, leather, and greenery.

I could also imagine hints of cinnamon (the flavor I always associate with Inara), incense, and a fresh aroma of either strawberries or newly distilled wine.

Fans come and fans go...but zealots are with you until the bitter black end.
I draw...therefore I am.
http://www.mnartists.org/artistHome.do?rid=7922

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 6:59 AM

GEEZER

Keep the Shiny side up


I imagine it as smelling something like my car hauler when I've pulled the racecar in after a long mid-August race weekend in Va. Sweaty socks/suit/helmet, hot metal, hot brakes, hydrocarbons, rubber, racetrack food(probably pretty similar to processed protein), beer (after the driving's done), wood, plus the smell of being right on the razor-edge of non-affordability. Add in the flourescent lights flickering with the unreliable racetrack power, and I feel like I'm right there with 'em.

"Keep the Shiny side up"

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 7:04 AM

UNCHARTEDOUTLAW


Quote:

Originally posted by BrownCoat1:
Kaylee's room would smell slightly of strawberries and grease.



Mmmmm, with Kaylee in there...that's a very very shiny visual. Somehow I think strawberries and grease would go together.

-Taylor

Uncharted Outlaw!

Haulin' goods from one end of creation to th' other. Keepin' my nose clean 'round the Alliance. Rockin' the "Riviera" (67-K62) hardcore!

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 7:23 AM

DEBBIEBUK1


I always think the cargo bay probably smells a bit like the car deck of a cross-channel ferry, exhaust fumes, diesel etc. Don't know why since there aren't too many actual vehicles in there. I guess it's my main association with travel, don't think any of Serenity smells at all like an airplane interior though. I'd be really disappointed if they did a "smell-o-vision" version.

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 9:48 AM

SIGNYM

I believe in solving problems, not sharing them.


Good question! Odor is important to me because I have a good nose. I can smell silk ten feet away (honest!) and my colleagues at the pharma where I used to work stopped inviting me to odor panels because I found darn few "odorless" raw ingredients. (In fact, my supervisor was so convinced I was faking he gave me five vials to smell of the same-looking material and I could pick out the one I had smelled before. Not that there was anything bad with that batch because it smelled faintly like orange popsicles... but that's another story.)

So anyway, I think Firefly would smell more like a submarine. Not that I've been been on one, but with its recirculated air and on-board living quarters it seems closer in function than a machine shop. I understand that subs carry a catalytic oxidizer (hopcalite or some such) to keep odors and volatiles from building up.

So, do you know how nasty high-protein feces smell? Now that has to be recycled somehow (unless they just chuck it into space) because o'wise they'd have to carry lots and lots and lots and lots of water. I suspect that SOME of the odor on the ship would be along those lines!

But like a sub, different parts of FF would smell differently: the engine room different from the cargo bay etc. What would Mal's room smell like?? Leather, some sweat... I'm gonna go ponder that and daydream for a while!

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Thursday, October 14, 2004 1:47 PM

BRUISERSMOM


It's probably indescribable. They have all kinds of cargo, including cows who defecate on the cargo bay floor. They recycle the air most of the time, since they are in space. They probably don't clean as thoroughly as a cruise ship would to keep the place smelling like roses. It's a cargo ship.

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 3:15 AM

WILDHEAVENFARM


Like Lowes or Home Depot, without the lumber. And I bet it has that same fine gray dust that settles on everything and seems magnetically attracted to human skin and hair.

Mary
Always a beast, never a burden.

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 5:21 AM

CYBERSNARK


I imagine the engine room smelling very faintly of fuel, smoke (from the catalyzer going boom), and a hint of Kaylee's perfume (probably that "cherry cake-mix" smelling stuff I kept getting whiffs of in high school).

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 6:53 AM

EBONEZER


I'm definatly gonna agree with everybody on the cow smell, and the engine shop smell, and the medical smell in the infirmary or whever else we've decided on throughout the ship.

But you know how when you get on an airplane, and (usualy just as the plane is pushing back from the terminal) you hear that hiss sound and then you can smell the oxygen (or whatever compination of gases it is) getting pumped in. I imagine that that smell would be there as well.

-----------------------------------

Four out of five dentists reccomend calling Ebo a girl.

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 6:58 AM

ZOID



In my mind's er, nose, she smells like a mixture of waste recycling plant, stockyard and machine shop. ZOE: "No, I mean 'What's that?', sir", MAL: "Just step around it. Something must've been living in here."

Likewise, all the biological refuse of the inhabitants is probably being reclaimed somewhere on board the ship and reused for drinking water and 'protein paste' birthday cakes. Somewhere beneath the show's surface, I suspect, lies the old joke: "Life is like a sh*t sandwich: The more bread you have, the less sh*t you have to take." Rich people in the 'verse are probably forced to eat less paste than the 'underachievers'. Instead, they get real strawberries and "hot cheese", which -- in accordance with 'trickle down economics' -- means increased generation of high-quality paste for the poor.

You know: An example of the rich doing their part for society... Or how about, making it possible for the masses to eat?

I wonder, if the recycler ever broke down, someone might utter, "Paste, paste everywhere, but not a dollop to eat"...


Scatologically,

zoid

P.S.
Jonathan 'Dean' Swift is my hero.
_________________________________________________

"Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me." The Ballad of Serenity

Only 186 days, 12 hours, 24 minutes, and 55 seconds left until The BDM!

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 7:14 AM

BILLYUNO


Quote:

Originally posted by WildHeavenFarm:
Like Lowes or Home Depot, without the lumber. And I bet it has that same fine gray dust that settles on everything and seems magnetically attracted to human skin and hair.



Actually I would bet that the set of the ship smells EXACTLY like a Lowes or Home Depot.

"Your talent for alienating people is near miraculous!"

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 7:26 AM

ROCKETJOCK


As a former Navy man, I probably have a better idea of what a big tin can full of people smells like than most. Of course Serenity has a female population factor that would alter that a little, and not just from the scent of Inara's incense.

One observation I'd like to add though: after you've lived in a closed (or semi closed) aromatic environment for a few days, your brain starts editing the familiar background smell out. It's like the way you can sleep through your alarm clock's ticking, even if it's a noisy-ass Baby Ben; the familiar gets filtered. So after a few days on Serenity you'd stop noticing the olfactory landscape, at least as much.

And parenthetically, I'm pretty sure that the cargo deck got a good scrubdown following the five-hundred-thousand-hamburgers-on-the-hoof incident. If nothing else, Simon would insist for sanitary reasons. Which probably means he'd get stuck with most of it...


"Hermanos! The Devil has built a robot! Andale!" -- Numero Cinco

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 7:28 AM

CAPTAINHARBATKIN


Well, a bit of speculation here.

I spent a bit of time in the navy, and oddly enough, even down in the engine rooms when reasonably clean, they DON'T smell like a machine shop. Now, I base this on one of the oldest, cruddiest ships in the Navy at the time, an old destroyer with 35+ years of service. Brass polish? Yes, when we were polishing brass. Paint when we were painting, soap when we were scrubbing the deck, that sort of thing.

Yes, in the machine shop with the cutting oil and lathes and such, yes, you could smell that, some. But on the mess deck, it smelled like a cheap, clean diner. In the electronic spaces, pretty much nothing. Ships office smelled like an office, barber shop, like a barber shop.

The submarine might be a closer comparion, but I'v never been aboard one of the SSBNs which would have the long cruises, totally submerged. My friends at the time that had been, made no comment, so it's mostly not an issue, I suggest.

And finally, one comment re: cargo and by products (and GREASE for that matter). If there were organic odors, simply open the ship to vacuum, or at least the cargo deck. In space, organic compounds will "boil" away pretty darn quickly, and yes, that would include grease, oil, manure, etc. Organic volatiles just are not going to be a long term issue, even without an advanced technology.

YMMV, of course.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
...they'll rape us to death, eat our flesh, and sew our skins into their
clothing - and if we're very, very lucky, they'll do it in that order.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Sunday, October 17, 2004 8:30 AM

ANNIK


Great thread ... great ideas. I can 'smell' all these descriptions perfectly.

But ... if they truly live in a post-petroleum product era (no more Earth to get fossil fuels from), what types of oils and grease and such would they be using, and what would they smell like?

I know I can smell margarine vs. butter vs. olive oil at 10' no problem. I LMGAO when I read about the person who could smell 'scentless' products ... I'm exactly the same way. I'm even favoured to react to the *filler* materials in medications (the so-called "inert" materials ... the ones that *don't* get listed in the CPS because they're supposedly inert). Gack.

Any thoughts on smells for synthetic lubrication, etc? (Yeah, I know, these already exist in some areas but I'm not going to go there. )

Cheers,
Annik
... my sister's a ship. We had a complicated childhood.

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