Perfume bottles
Death Perfume attempts to recreate the scent of loved ones who are now deceased.Pixabay

An insurance saleswoman has discovered a way to bring loved ones back to live, by creating a scent made from their smell.

Widow Katia Apalategui has joined forces with university scientists to find a way of capturing a person's unique scent from their clothes.

They have come up with the Death Perfume – a flask of liquid containing cloth worn by the deceased.

"There is a very strong evocative link between memory and smell," a university expert told The Sun.

Katie dreamt up the idea after her husband passed away and she could not bring herself to wash his pillowcase because it smelt of him. Thinking that there must be a market for countless other people in grief for their loved ones, she decided to market the idea.

Smelly partners

The 52-year-old decided to go into partnership with Havre University in France, who were already creating ways of reproducing human scents.

"We take the person's clothing and extract the odour – which represents about a hundred molecules – and we reconstruct it in the form of a perfume in four days," explained the university's Geraldine Savary in a Guardian report.

The powerful link between smell and memory means the product offers "olfactory comfort", Apalategui claims, on a par with photos, videos and other memories of the deceased.

"We are going through funeral homes to offer families a small box containing a vial of the departed's odour that we would have extracted from a piece of material provided by them," said Apalategui

"It's made-to-measure and will sell for around €560 [£400]," she added.

The product could be extended to living persons and the fragrance could be presented as alternative gifts on Valentine's Day, or for children separated from their parents for long periods of time.

Earlier attempts

There have been previous attempts at trying to recreate the odour of a deceased person.

Dr Raychelle Burks of Doane College in Nebraska used a combination of three smells: Methanethiol, putrescine and cadaverine.

Putrescine and cadaverine are the main ingredients, which are emitted early on in the decaying process.

The chemical compounds are produced by the breakdown of amino acids in living and dead organisms and are toxic in large doses.

They are responsible for the foul odour of putrefying flesh, but also contribute to bad breath and can be found in semen. Methanethiol, which smells like rotten eggs, is also added to the fragrance to create its distinct aroma.