14 Interesting Smell Facts

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What do we know about smell and how it does it affect our lives?

First date

  • By the age of 70, almost 30% of people do not feel subtle flavors.
  • Scents are best felt when the air temperature is 37-38C.
  • The sense of smell can be improved by 3-5% per year due to inhaling essential oils of rose, verbena, sage, rosemary, frankincense, juniper, sandalwood, myrrh, and patchouli. The best “smell coach” is basil.
  • We perceive smells most clearly in the early morning, immediately after waking up.
  • Fragrances are trapped by the nose and then transferred to smell receptors with the surface of 3 cm2 (about the size of a stamp).
  • People with congenital insensitivity to pain do not feel smells.
  • Four molecules of odorous substances are enough to awaken our sense of smell.
  • Human beings have 10-11 million olfactory receptors, while dogs have 230 million receptors, i.e. 20 times more.
  • The sense of smell diminishes by 50-60 % if a person starts smoking.
  • Increased sense of smell (hyperospheresia) occurs in case of prolonged sexual abstinence, migraine, after delivery and during dieting and starvation.
  • After sunbathing, the sharpness of smell may temporarily decrease (hyposmia).
  • An urban dweller, living in the noisy civilization, does not feel up to 70% of the city smells.
  • The most favorite smells for most people are those of fresh baked bread, freshly cut grass, and coffee.
  • The acuteness of smell can be measured. It is done with a special device called olfactometer.

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