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Throughout Star Trek, Data reminds people that he is, in fact, an android. While he doesn't sweat, his artificial skin and hair should have their own scent -- yet it's never remarked on, as far as I know.

Does Data have a particular scent?

Data

(Sorry, Soong!)

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  • 11
    He probably smelled like something after he walked across the bottom of that lake in Star Trek 9.
    – Molag Bal
    May 3, 2016 at 20:47
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    Terrible! No, wait... May 3, 2016 at 21:06
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    The woman from "Thine Own Self" takes a whiff of Data's breath and reports nothing. Perhaps the android's skin has no smell (nothing perceptible to humanoids, at least). Surely his clothes have some sort of smell, but that wouldn't be Data's smell, of course. May 3, 2016 at 21:47
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    I think this is the natural progression from my question! May 3, 2016 at 23:28
  • 3
    See also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/67683/4918 "Does Worf stink?"
    – b_jonas
    May 4, 2016 at 21:34

1 Answer 1

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Main canon

His breath has no smell, presumably the rest of him is much the same.

TALUR: Hmmmm. Remarkable set of teeth. no sign of decay. (sniffs) Breath smells like. (puzzled) Well, it doesn't have any smell, actually.

TNG: Thine own Self

EU Novels

Data has a scent, but it's not one that's especially noticeable.

He bore no scent save that of a freshly laundered garment and a hint of bioplast sheeting. Nonetheless, he looked uncannily human, down to the pores of his skin.

Star Trek TNG: The Buried Age

Reality

All of the Enterprise crew (including Brent Spiner) absolutely reeked of body odour and cleaning fluid, at least for the first couple of seasons. The spandex fabric they used for the uniforms resisted cleaning except with harsh chemicals that could only be used once or twice a month. For the rest of the time, the cast were expected to sweat into their suits which would be spot-cleaned.

"Spandex retains odor, so there is a certain part where if you’re wearing them for a long period of time, you can’t really clean all the smell out, and it becomes a little bit annoying. And it also retains the odor of the dry cleaning fluid. It is, on a day-to-day basis, unpleasant."

Bob Blackman, the costume designer behind the show’s iconic uniforms

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  • 1
    Nice! Add a (potentially funny) picture. Do it quickly and I'll give you half a crown!
    – user40790
    May 5, 2016 at 16:08
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    As a comment on the "Reality" section, from another large sci-fi franchise: Someone who worked on Doctor Who in the '80s (or was it the '70s?) once told me the insides of Daleks smelled horrible. May 5, 2016 at 16:28
  • It would be nice if this quote was attributed here. Yes, I can go find it in the linked article, but this answer just left me confused as to who is being quoted. (Also, what if the link breaks?) Jul 15, 2021 at 15:59
  • @ThePopMachine - Go crazy.
    – Valorum
    Jul 15, 2021 at 17:22
  • I have an unfortunately acute sense of smell. Especially with his level of activity, Data would have a unique smell. The spandex would have been unbearable, except that if I had been on set anything would have been worth it!
    – JohnHunt
    Aug 22, 2021 at 17:25

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