Scent Fact #1
You actually smell with your brain, not your nose, as you might assume. Sensory cells called chemoreceptors in the nose detect the smell and then send electrical impulses to the brain. The brain then interprets the electrical patterns as specific odors—what we recognize as smell.
Scent Fact #2
Scent cells are renewed every 30 to 60 days.The olfactory nerve is the only one of the cranial nerves, a group of nerves that extend from the brain and are responsible for controlling bodily functions including eye movement, hearing, taste, and vision, that is capable of regeneration.
Scent Fact #3
No two people smell things the same way because each of us has scent blind spots, meaning specific odors we can't pick up on.
Scent Fact #4
Scents can cue memories. Most of your scent memories, however, come from the first decade of your life, unlike visual or other sensorial memory types.
Scent Fact #5
There are fewer types of scents than you think. Some researchers hypothesize that there are only seven primary odors: musky, putrid, pungent, camphoraceous (like mothballs), ethereal (like dry cleaning fluid), floral, and minty.
Scent Fact #6
Women generally have stronger sense of smell than men. One of the reasons for this may be that women have a more developed orbital prefrontal region of the brain. It may have also evolved from an ability to discern the best possible mates, or to help women better bond with and understand newborns.
Scent Fact #7
You really can smell fear and happiness--at least, you can smell whether another person is happy or afraid, as long as the person you're smelling is a close romantic partner.
Scent Fact #8
A fragrance you perceive as pleasant can have a profoundly positive effect on your mood. So if you love vanilla, keeping a little scented oil on your desk can help lift you when you're down. The same goes for citrus, jasmine, or any other scent that makes you feel contented.