Senses that keyboards engage - what about smell?

I was thinking about what makes mechanical keyboards attractive to me and people, and one of the aspect is that they engage you at the sensorial level by :

  • tactile feel sensation (switch, keycap profile&material&surface, case material cold/warm,etc)

  • visually (tons of aspects here)

  • hearing (switch sounds and the whole keyboard when typing, stabs noises, etc. )

There’s also mentally engaging aspects like tinkering, improving, designing,creating,dreaming and following a vision, sharing knowledge,etc.

Every topic can be expanded sooo much and so many things can be said.

While taking a walk in the park and smelling the freshly cut grass, I had the thought :

What about bringing smell into our keyboards to make it even a more personal experience ?

Has anyone else thought about that ? Did you ever experimented by using some favorite perfume on your keycaps or keyboard to have the scent activated when you type ?

Just food for thought :slight_smile: I would love to hear how other people would respond to that thought, of introducing that aspect to keyboards.

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Ideeas : thematic keycap sets with smell - bubblegum, gmk camping -grass smell etc.

How about a custom leyboard that difuses essential oils ? :))

I think that aspect does exist somewhat.
Let’s take the example of metal keyboards…I have a Logitech G512 right now which has an aluminium top. On warm dry days, after I am done gaming (and having a sweaty FPS) session, there’s this faint dusty smell off my KB.
Could just be dust but I always keep my board clean.

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I like how you’re thinking but not smell. If it wouldn’t be that fragrant it’d just be a little gimmick or novelty. If you’d be able to smell if while at typing distance, that begs the question of why not just have a dedicated aroma producer of some sort on your desk. Why do that with your keyboard?

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It’s not a suggestion to do that to a keyboard, it’s more a question if you ever thought about associating a scent to a keyboard and how would it make you feel while using it. It’s more a challenge to express your feelings about that experience and what thoughts does the ideea generate…

Reminds me of the “fish smell” cream switches :sweat_smile:

Can’t really say I’ve ever wanted my keyboard to smell like anything tbh.


Nope, my keyboards DO have distinct smells. Most notably the singed smell of solder wire and flux but also whatever lube or grease I used, cleaners (could be isopropyl alcohol or pcb spray cleaner, the smell of the dish soap I used to clean a scuzzy case it switches or keycaps). Then there’s the adventurous stuff like when I’ve used gasket maker to fill the gaps between the plate and the pcb, or the adhesives that holds tire balance weights to the case. There’s all kinds of stuff. Each smell immediately brings me back to the day I was working on it and even reminds me of the way I felt typing on the project. It also brings up whatever positive or negative feelings I have about the project and reminds me that I need to get back in there and fix something. Smell is a potent thing man.

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My nose must not be as sensitive as others’ because none of my keyboards have a smell, other than old used used ones I’ve bought off eBay that smell like other people’s homes, but that only lasts a little while and then it goes away.

Now that you mention it, I’m staring at my KAT Milkshake keys and wishing they had a nice smell, like those colored markers I used to use in grade school. They look like they would smell nice.


I also LOVE the musty smell of vintage boards that have been sitting around in a garage or warehouse. Even after you clean them, the musk of 30 years of someone else using this old reliable steed to solve problems or run a business on their old terminal computer, the same way they’ve always run it, pervades. Or, a once loved workhorse is replaced by a newer cheaper crappier rubber dome keyboard and is set on a shelf and forgotten about only to be found and brought back to life by one of us, someone who values it for what it is. That smell is like part of its soul. It tells a story.

I love the distinct scent of my industrial grey model M or the my old WASD keyboard, my first mech which reeks of flux because it was my first attempt at desoldering and went terribly wrong before I got it right.

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I gotta agree with @macclack here, none of my boards have any particular smell.

I would be pretty happy to not ever have to worry about people trying to add anything that smelled to anything keyboard related, that sounds atrocious. I can’t imagine whatever artificial smell would be added would be pleasant in any way at all.

Agreed. Boo to artificial smells. :face_vomiting:

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I second that.
Artificial smells would actually be a bad idea…

Some of us (or maybe just me) already have too specific a taste and imagine having to add another layer of SCENT to choose from… :joy:

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Someone just chuck one of these in their case instead of sorbothane



And this is how you become the keyboard freshener foam kingpin.


Not long ago, I put together this keyboard for a cyclist friend of mine. Instead of using the traditional keyboard lubes, I was inspired by another person who was using gun oil to try something along those lines, but in this case I wanted to use bike lube.

I settled on Tri-Flow Teflon spray to bag-lube the springs. It’s a fairly tenacious but not too thick oil - and I had plenty laying around. Teflon spray lube has a fairly strong smell that’s familiar among many cyclists, even if they don’t use it themselves. When my friend un-boxed his board, he remarked that it “smells like [bike components]!”

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Hmm, I have one of those 6-key christmas tree macropads that came out a few years ago. Bet I could use one of these as a plate.


that would be hilarious

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