Bacon. Just looking at it can make your mouth water. (Via Flickr / cookbookman17)
But we all know it's the sweet, smoky smell that has the power to get you moving when your alarm simply can't.
It all starts with the Maillard reaction. "And it's basically what causes anything you cook, like steaks, breads, dumplings and so on, to turn brown." (Via American Chemical Society)
NBC adds some context, saying, "It's actually a series of reactions (not specific to just bacon), named after French scientist Louis-Camille Maillard, who was the first to study this food chemistry in the early 1900s."
The Maillard reaction combines with the fatty bacon to produce aromatic hydrocarbons and aldehydes. The report says when pyridines, which give off a meaty smell, combine with those compounds, "They become the major contributor to bacon-y goodness." (Via YouTube / Quba Michalski, American Chemical Society)
But remember, there are 150 organic compounds creating that smell. Compound Interest says, "It's perhaps a little disappointing that it's not a lone compound that is responsible for bacon's aroma."
And a Los Angeles Times reporter responded by saying what we were already thinking: "In other words, it sounds like there's room for further study. My big question is: How do you get a job like that?"
My big question: How soon can I get some bacon? No, seriously, though.