“It merely stinks. But it does so relentlessly and unbearably. It makes innocent downwind pedestrians stagger, clutch their stomachs, and flee in terror. It reeks to a degree that makes people suspect evil supernatural forces.”

That’s not hyperbole. In 1889, a factory in Freiberg, Germany attempted to make thioacetone. Their “success” produced “an offensive smell which spread rapidly over a great area of the town, causing fainting, vomiting and a panic evacuation.”