At Mugaritz, one of the very finest restaurants in Spain and #4 in the world.
In his sacrosanct lab, Chef Andoni Anduriz introduces us to the molecular components of smell, and how they play a role in the total smell experience by placing a drop of a fragrance essence onto a piece of filter paper. We were asked to guess the smell of each component as we waved the six filter papers in front of our nose in turn. The six strips, we discovered, each had one of the following fragrance elements: cinnamon, eucalyptus, mild hydrogen sulphide (similar to the fragrance of clean under-arm body odour), anise, clove and mandarin orange. Then we placed all six strips together and as Andoni asked us, we waved them in front of our noses. Behold, we discovered the fragrance of fresh basil! He told us that many of the herbs we were familiar with could actually have as many as 100 different molecular components to their smell.