Botrytis is a terribly smelling and super off-putting mold that finds its way into both indoor and outdoor cannabis grows, and it can destroy an entire crop! Botrytis likes humid environments with bad air circulation and can be a silent killer because sometimes it's unnoticeable until it's too late.
Depending on the severity of the botrytis and whether you're evaluating it on living plants or dried and cured flower, the odor intensity can vary. When botrytis is strong to the nose, it has a sweet, acrid smell. From a chef's perspective, I compare botrytis to sour cream that's been left in the fridge for a month or two past it's expiration.
The first time I ever smelled botrytis was when I took the Interpening course from Max back in 2016. He opened up a big ball jar filled with stanky weed and it smelled so bad that my stomach started hurting, like I was cramping up, for about 10 minutes. I don't know if anyone else had a similar reaction, but I will NEVER forget that smell again. The best part about having such a negative reaction to the odor, is that I'm now able to detect very mild cases of botrytis because the smell is engraved into my scent memory.
Check out the slides below from our Interpening course to see what botrytis looks like.
Word of advice... don't smoke flower that looks like this!