Aug 24, 2022
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Interesting Facts About Smells


Welcome to our website, dear readers. The ability to smell makes our daily life pleasant and interesting. With the help of smells, we can smell spoiled food and protect ourselves from poisoning, we can notice the leakage of gas or smoke, thereby protecting ourselves from dangerous consequences. Smells also delight us (when we smell kebabs, toilet water, etc.).

And today we decided to tell you in detail about this specific sensation of the presence of volatile odorous substances in the air.


Many people believe that we taste all food with our taste buds. This is a misconception, since the taste buds located on our tongue can only detect sweet, bitter, salty, sour, etc. The tongue cannot feel the most specific taste of any product. For example, if you take cabbage, close your nose and eat it, you may not even understand what you are eating right now.


Unfortunately, not all people on the planet can smell. Approximately 5% of the world’s population are anosmics (they either have no sense of smell at all, or they do not smell the aroma of certain substances). It is very difficult for anosmics to live. Imagine that all your food is tasteless. Barbecue has no aroma and pronounced taste, drinks have no fruity smell, etc. Anosmics can only distinguish between sweet, salty, bitter, etc.

Anosmics also do not detect body odor, which can make them uncomfortable in society.

Number 3


Viral infections can change the sense of smell. The common cold is a known olfactory thief (although most often temporarily). However, in some people, the sense of smell is not restored even after recovery.

Many people develop what is known as parosmia after a cold (this is a dysfunctional odor detection characterized by the brain’s inability to correctly identify the “natural” odor of an odor). With parosmia, instead of the usual aromas, a person feels some incomprehensible and smelly odors, reminiscent of the smell of burning, rot or chemistry.


As with fingerprints, each person has their own unique “smell”. There are no two people who evaluate smells in the same way. For example, you used some kind of room freshener. It seems to you that it smells like cupcakes, and to your friend that it smells like vanilla. And you and he are right in this case.

In addition, every person has the so-called “blind spots” of smell. That is, those aromas that he cannot catch.


Women tend to have a much better sense of smell than men. Scientists have found that women have more cells in the olfactory bulb, the area of ​​the brain responsible for the sense of smell. That is why women show a higher sensitivity to fragrances.


Good fragrances make a person happier. Fragrances that a person perceives as “pleasant” have a profoundly positive effect on his mood. Therefore, if a person loves the aroma of citrus, then it is recommended to keep some citrus aromatic oil on the desktop at work, which will help cheer you up. The same applies to other fragrances that evoke positive emotions in a person.


There are far fewer flavors than we imagine. It seems to us that there are citrus, barbecue, cheese, tomato and various other flavors. But scientists have different views on this matter. They believe that there are only seven primary smells (clean, so to speak):

  1. Camphor.
  2. Spicy.
  3. Mint.
  4. Floral.
  5. Musky.
  6. Ethereal.
  7. Putrefactive.


Pregnant women’s weird food cravings may be related to their sense of smell. As a woman’s nose becomes hypersensitive during pregnancy, they develop an abnormal sense of taste, which leads to strange cravings for herring with ice cream, etc.


In fact, we smell aromas not with our nose, but with our brain. When air enters the nose with a suspension of odorous molecules, and they settle on the mucous membrane, they are caught by olfactory receptors (neurons). Neurons transmit the received information via special nerve cells directly to the hypothalamus. This is where the “deciphering” of the smell takes place.



The sense of smell is characterized by “fatigue”. For example, when you first enter a bakery, you are “attacked” from all sides by the pleasant aromas of baking. But the longer you stay there, the weaker these flavors become (even though nothing really changes).


Everyone knows that dogs have an incredible sense of smell. While humans have about 5-6 million olfactory cells in the nose, dogs have about 230 million. That is, a dog’s sense of smell is about 44 times stronger than a human’s. But not only dogs have a good sense of smell. Nature has awarded rabbits, elephants, bears, snakes, sharks, etc. with a good sense of smell.


Favorite smells are not only for humans, but also for animals. For example, cats really like the smell of valerian, lions like mint, and camels like tobacco.


Olfactory cells are updated every 30-60 days. The sense of smell is the only cranial nerve (nerves that come out of the brain and control bodily functions, including eye movement, hearing, taste, and vision) that can recover.


Back in 1927, scientists conducted research, thanks to which they found that a person can distinguish about 10,000 different odors. But new research has shown that this is too low a figure. Scientists from the Rockefeller University conducted research using various mixtures of odor molecules and found that a person can smell at least 1 trillion different aromas.

This concludes our article, dear readers. We hope you enjoyed our collection of interesting facts about smells.

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