Pure scent, while technically a potion, is not designed for drinking. If it is allowed to evaporate, it reacts with all ‘impurities’ in the air and removes them.
The result is a complete removal of all scents and smells. While it could seem to produce something fresh, it is actually _no_ scent at all. This sudden removal of scents can be a bit spooky on the subconscious level, particularly for animals and creatures that strongly rely on smell.
Hat tip to Shadoweagle for thinking of more details.
Pure scent is a creation of master Herbminn Vatel, a less known alchymist, expert in the field of perfumes and scents, which, while a little-followed science, can make a nice living. It is not certain, if it was only a chance, or discovered in a purposeful research. Vatel has been known to search for the "ultimate scent", the purest one that can exist. To some this would be the answer, the secret of pure scent being no scent at all.
As a side note, Vatel’s sensitive nose seems to have suffered in the end from too intensive use of the Pure Scent(tm). Rumour says he has lost this sense entirely after inhaling it several times.
- cleans air from all impurities, leaving only the few basic elements behind
- can be used to remove one’s smell, to confuse creatures tracking this way - so hunters, but also shadowy characters will surely find use for it
- can mask any other smell, at least for a while… so your evil villain(tm) could make anything evil that smells and no one would notice. Flush waste from your factory? Summon a demon of Filth? Make bodies of enemies decompose with your necromantic powers? Anything goes.
- a side effect is actually _increasing_ the sense of smell, as if the person smells nothing for quite some time, once the effect is gone all the scents will seem richer and stronger.
- in terms of tracking through smell, it could be only a time-giver, as if the tracker moves out of the smell-less area, their increased smell will no doubt allow them to pick up the scent more easily.
- while a potion, it is not very healthy to drink (could disrupt communication between cells and whatnot… random negative effects on health). That is more of a side effect, a mild poison if you will. Also, the senses of taste and smell could be damaged with longer use.
Actual use: stored in tiny flasks and carefully closed small containers, it can be used as perfumes (apply a drop here and there…) to neutralize foul smells. For a larger application, it is usually shaken wildly, and shattered. Watch out, it evaporates quickly. If sprays exist, it will be in one.
Sadly, the brew is quite expensive, and its ingredients are rare (choose a few random exotic strangely-smelling things). Few people have it, and fewer are willing to sell it. The recipe still didn’t get to the alchymistic public, too.
So that aforementioned villain disguising his factory could have found a much cheaper variant. Gather the heroes… tell them of his slave mines… which we wants to use to conquer the world etc, etc, and the quest is… to steal a cheap perfume!