There’s this undergrad class at Harvard called Science and Cooking. I’m one of 10 graduate students that serve as Teaching Fellows in this class. We sit in a bundle, in the right-front of the lecture hall. We lead cooking labs, once a week.
A few weeks ago, we listened to a guest lecture from Adoni Aduriz, head chef at Mugaritz restaurant in Spain. Speaking Spanish, using a translator, he described how to create the scent of jasmine. There are hundreds of aromatic compounds that make up the scent of a jasmine flower, he said, but to mimic it, we need only six.
Five that are sweet, resembling rose, or vanilla, or something equally pleasant.
The sixth is the smell of fecal matter. He called it Indo.
“Sometimes, to build beauty,” he said. “We need a discordant note.”