the best science on the web about
smell

How Does the Sense of Smell Work?
Image: iStockphoto.com/emorgan49

How Does the Sense of Smell Work?

Millions of odor particles are floating around in the air, just waiting to be sniffed by your nose. But what does your nose do with them?

Each smell molecule fits into a nerve cell like a lock and key. The cells send signals along the olfactory nerve to your brain, which reads "sweet flowers" or "stinky cheese." Sniff out more details about smell, including why it triggers memories so well.

HowStuffWorks
Loading...
Yes, You Really Can Smell Fear

Yes, You Really Can Smell Fear

While all sweat smells, scientists have found that some sweat screams anxiety to the world. Get the details. More...

Article
Discover Magazine
Amazing Animal Senses

Amazing Animal Senses

Did you know butterflies taste with their feet and earthworms with their entire body? Or that chameleons and seahorses have eyes that can move in different directions? Uncover more sensational senses. More...

Article
Neuroscience for Kids
Dogs’ Dazzling Sense of Smell

Dogs’ Dazzling Sense of Smell

Your average dog’s nose is tens of thousands of times as sensitive to odors as yours. Find out what accounts for this stunning piece of machinery. More...

Article
NOVA/PBS
Experiments to Try

Experiments to Try

Take a walk on the smelly side. Explore the limits of touch. And put your senses to the test with this collection of fun experiments. More...

Interactive
KidsHealth
Seasoning: Your Sense of Smell

Seasoning: Your Sense of Smell

Don't make the mistake of thinking your taste buds work alone when it comes to detecting flavor. Find out what your nose knows. More...

Article
Exploratorium
Loading...
What Are Your Senses?

What Are Your Senses?

Your senses are always at work, detecting clues about the world around you. Examine how your senses help define you. Then investigate synaesthesia and phantom limbs. More...

Article
Science Museum, London
Cool Jobs: Delving into Dung

Cool Jobs: Delving into Dung

On the hunt for poop — it's not just a job for dung beetles anymore. Meet Tucker, a dog trained to sniff out whale scat. Find out what researchers have learned from his nose for science. More...

Article
Science News for Students
Making Snotty Scents

Making Snotty Scents

It’s wet, sticky, and — to most people — best left up the nose. However, scientists think the enzymes in snot may play a key role in how we interpret smells. More...

Article
Science News for Students
How Does Your Dinosaur Smell?

How Does Your Dinosaur Smell?

Quite well, seems to be the answer. An extensive survey of dinosaur skills adds to the evidence that T. rex had a killer sense of smell. Get the details. More...

Article
Nature
Savory Science: Jelly Bean Taste Test

Savory Science: Jelly Bean Taste Test

When it comes to tasting a feast of flavors, what role does your nose play? Find out with this "scent-sational" experiment. More...

Activity
Scientific American
Loading...
Nervous System: Smell

Nervous System: Smell

Investigate how your nose alerts you to dangers, such as smoke and poisonous gas. Then discover how it's linked to memories and helps you appreciate the full flavor of your food. More...

Article
BBC
5 Weird Facts About Smell

5 Weird Facts About Smell

Smell is the only primary sense with "a direct connection to your brain" and the reasons you can detect food flavors so well. Watch the other 4 facts. More...

Video
Stuff to Blow Your Mind

Latest Comments

You Also Might Like

  1. new world monkeys

    new world monkeys

  2. Neanderthals

    Neanderthals

  3. pangolins

    pangolins

  4. respiratory system

    respiratory system

  5. cells

    cells