Old hospitals had characteristic smells so that you knew where you were located even without visual cues. I guess new hospitals must have advanced HVAC systems in place, because to my old wrinkled up nose they don't really smell or perhaps inhaling years of olfactory toxins has destroyed my senses. Anyhow, hospitals don't smell like they used to.
You could always sniff out the X-ray department by the smell of photographic fixer everywhere. Difficult to describe, but you know it when you smell it. The medical detox wards had the over powering scent (if you could call it that) of paraldehyde, sweat, and vomit. If you were in a high end institution there were green Airwick thingees on the window sill. Is that where they go the term window dressing?
Our cafeteria was really a cafeteria of smells. Think bacon, fryer grease, and an industrial strength cleaning solution used in the dishwasher. The cafeteria was in the basement and the elevators functioned as giant pistons driving all the hospital smells into the eating area. What a great way to loose weight.
The hospital laundry was a weird hodge podge of smells too. Think steam and soap mixed with every smell a human body could produce. Seeing how hard the laundry workers had it was a great incentive when the sledding got tough in nursing school. I don't know how they did it.
The OR had a mix of alcohol prep solutions and bovie smoke smell. Sorta like an ultra-clean smokehouse.
Well, all this smell malarkey is making me hungry. It's time for a lunch break. Oh and have a festive and happy Valentines Day