New York investigating mystery smell of syrup

Was it the sweet smell of success? Or King Kong eating his breakfast?

Well, neither. But there's still no rational explanation for the maple syrup aroma that wafted Thursday across Manhattan, the second such olfactory incident since October. Calls to the city's help line and the Fire Department reported the pleasant scent around 3:30 p.m. in neighborhoods from midtown to the upper East and West Sides.

"It seems to be the same odor that people detected in late October," city Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Ian Michaels said Friday. The agency sent out its hazardous materials team to take instant readings of the air from neighborhoods where the calls originated, but nothing dangerous was found.

Air samples brought in for additional testing were also negative, Michaels said: "It is once again a mystery. It seems to be gone." On Oct. 27, the maple scent was reported more near the southern tip of &to=' target=_blank>Manhattan although some calls did come in from the Upper West Side, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) to the north.

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