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Why do old buildings in the UK smell like ammonia / boar taint?

As a US resident who visited the UK, I was surprised that most buildings built before say 1800 smelled strongly of pork, an ammonia-like smell but most precisely like boar taint. I have never smelled this in old buildings in other countries. What is the smell? Is it residue from centuries of cooking pork? Is […]

Categories
Ask Chemistry

Why do old buildings in the UK smell like ammonia / boar taint?

As a US resident who visited the UK, I was surprised that most buildings built before say 1800 smelled strongly of pork, an ammonia-like smell but most precisely like boar taint. I have never smelled this in old buildings in other countries. What is the smell? Is it residue from centuries of cooking pork? Is […]