Announcing the Shnozterman Olfactory History Archive

The Editors

We’re pleased to announce the Shnozterman Olfactory History Archive, a growing collection of scents that evoke the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish life and offer a rich and pungent record of Jewish history and identity.

This library of scents will allow future generations to have access to the smells that marked key moments in Jewish life, such as:

  1. The aroma of a warm roll with fresh butter a la Bontshe Shvayg

2. The way the mind’s nose recalls and reconstructs the piercing smells of an open air pushcart market in Brooklyn

3. The intermingling scents of greasepaint, pickles and coffee at the Cafe Royal

4. The pungent odor of a burn wound treated by bathing it in milk and covering it with the ash of burnt horse manure.

5. The fresh clean relief of pesky odors washed away with the expert help of Aunty Drudge and Fels Naptha spray

6. The scent of corn flakes floating in air in an extatic dance of pouring milk

7. The rank body odor of the student who sat next to you in Yiddish class last summer and was experimenting with natural deoderant in the middle of a heat wave.

We are working on a state of the art laboratory to recreate, with age-old recipes, the scents of Yiddishland of yore. Meanwhile, to preserve the Yiddish scents that have miraculously survived into the 21st century, and those newest nose hair ticklers that are being produced right this very moment, we are training a new generation to preserve these important memories. These olfactory preservation specialists will use a gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer to identify the molecules that make up each odor so it can be cataloged and preserved. We will also enlist a team of volunteer zamlers to sniff out scents that have not yet been been archived to ensure that our olfactory heritage does not vanish.

Editors, The. “Announcing the Shnozterman Olfactory History Archive.” In geveb, March 2020:
Editors, The. “Announcing the Shnozterman Olfactory History Archive.” In geveb (March 2020): Accessed Apr 22, 2024.


The Editors