contributed by: Ben H.

Date of Creation: 9/30/11

There are over 10,000 smells that languages do not have words for. Smell can awaken long forgotten memories better than the other senses.
How the smell works is your body is covered with molecules of odor. When you inhale the molecules they go up your nose. Then they flow to things inside your nose called nerve endings. Each of these endings has receptacles, each for just one type of molecule. Once a molecule fits into a receptacle it sends an electric signal towards the brain.
Some of the animals on earth have better smell than humans. For example a dog can smell about 100 times better than a human. This is because it has more receptacles in its nose.
Some cool facts about the nose in general are that:
  • Lobsters have the best sense of smell in the ocean.
  • Your sense of Smell is best at around ten years of age.
  • Only one of your nostrils smells at a time. They switch off about every 4 hours
  • The smell of trash is stronger on hot days.
  • Once we smell it always smells the same for the rest of our lives.
  • You can often tell if fruit is rotten or ripe just by smelling it
  • Smell is a big factor of what we taste. It is about 75% of our taste.
  • Females have a better sense of smell than males do.

Figure 1: Chef Smelling Soup.
Figure 2: Molecules going up the nose.


Molecule: any very small particle.
Receptacles: An object that receives or holds something.
Nostrils: either of the two external openings of the nose.
Nose: this part as the organ of smell.
Smell: to test by the sense of smell


1. The Sense of Smell, by Ellen Weiss, 612.86 WEI

Citation: Ellen, Weiss. The Sense of Smell. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2009.Print

2. Discovery Education Streaming Video, The Chemistry of Smell:

The Chemistry of Smell. Prod. Discovery Education. Discovery Education, 2002. Discovery Education. Web. 20 September 2011. <>.

3. Wikipedia. Olfaction. September 2011.Web. 20 September 2011.Web

4. Home. Dictionary. Copyright © 2011. 23 September 2011.Web