A group of scientists in the UK have isolated the chip smells, including butterscotch, onion and ironing boards, which tempt in passers-by.
Researchers at Leeds University used a process called gas chromatography mass spectrometry to isolate more than 40 different compounds and then asked people to describe what they smell like.
Smells that came up included ironing board, butterscotch, cocoa, onion, flowers and cheese.
Dr Graham Clayton from the university said that chips should perhaps be treated like wine is in France or Italy, where connoisseurs appreciate its complexities.
“Perhaps these findings will see chips treated like wine in the future, with chip fans turning into buffs as they impress their friends with eloquent descriptions of their favourite fries,” he said.