Sagittarius B2 is a giant molecular cloud located some 26,000 light years away from Earth, and 390 light years from the centre of the Milky Way.
Like in other giant molecular clouds, within the gas and dust found in Sagittarius B2 are the raw materials needed to form new stars and planets. What is even more interesting is that prebiotic molecules necessary to get life started may also be found there.
Amongst these molecules are the first ethanol ever detected in space in 1975, methanol, ethylene glycol, which is commonly used in anti-freeze formulations, acetone, hydrogen sulphide and the lethal compound propyl cyanide.
Important molecules also detected are glycoaldehyde, which can react to form ribose, a simple sugar that is crucial in the formation of RNA and DNA, and acetonitrile, a close relative of the simplest amino acid, glycine.
However, the molecule that has captivated everyone’s imagination is ethyl formate. This compound contributes to the flavour of raspberries and smells similar to rum. For our Sagittarius B2 scent we decided to leave the noxious smelling components out, and focus instead on a blend that contains natural raspeberry ketone and a Jamaican rum CO2 extraction amongst other things. Ethyl formate and some of the ‘stinkier’ notes can be smelled separately, if you really feel the need…