How do we Know that Scents are Safe? Part 3

We have covered a lot of ground on this topic and have discussed “gray areas” that require our personal judgment be exercised.  Here is one more for you to consider.

More and more people expect that any “smell experience” that they might have encountered should be able to be reprised.  We get into areas where simply identifying the chemistries that define the smell and then re-assembling them may not be prudent.  A recent blog, seen here and not authored by me, addressed the smell of a rain storm and is a case in point.  Many classes of compounds that are created when a rain storm arrives were categorized.  All in all, thousands if not many, many times that number were bundled into three categories: ozone (and effects); petrichor (natural and not natural origin ingredients found on the ground and on pavement, etc.); and geosmin (mostly natural-origin materials deriving from flora and fauna directly or indirectly and associated with “dirt” = earth).  However, the collateral Continue reading

What if I can’t SMELL?!

Have you ever wondered of how would it feel if you couldn’t see well, taste well, hear well….? From my perspective, that would be an extreme challenge to deal with, especially because I’ve been lucky enough to experience all my senses so far. But have any of you ever wondered how you’d feel if you couldn’t smell properly? Or at least, not being able to easily identify basic smells? This condition is called Anosmia, which is identified as the inability to Continue reading

Can you smell danger?

School of Goldband Fusilier, Pterocaesio chrys...

There are many scents out in the world that can grab our attention with just one whiff. The scent of coffee in the morning will get me out of bed within an instant. While I’m walking to school and smell the bakery on the way, it makes my mouth watery and my stomach angry, so what do I do? Of course I go in the bakery and grab something to satisfy my hunger. But what if we could smell danger? What if we were able to smell danger and avoid it before it can happen to us?

A study done by neuroscientist at the Biomedical Sciences Institutes, shows that fish can Continue reading

The Ability of Smell: a Virtue that You Can Train

Little was known about how we (humans) smell and taste until the early 1990’s when groundbreaking research revealed that humans have less than 1000 (maybe as many as 950) discrete odor receptor sites residing in the olfactory epithelium and of those many were non-functional, essentially vestigial, with only about 300 being “active” sites.  Why so many of the sites were non-functional has been explained many ways most of which Continue reading

The Scent of Summer

Five Senses - San Leon, TX

Five Senses – San Leon, TX (Photo credit: Daniel Ray)

Summer is in full swing. Memorial Day was weeks ago and the 4th of July feels like a memory.  I love summer, I love every part of it.  I love going to bed one night in the cold end of a California spring and waking up the next morning to find it’s already warm out, that the sun has been up for hours, and not to need to pull on a sweatshirt before hopping out of bed.  For me, summer is always a battery of excitment filling the senses. It seems that every day the colors become more intense, the smells more magnificent, and textures feel more pogniant.

Poll Results are In!

It is widely believed that our olfactory sense triggers the brain to recall memories.  This statement got our team thinking, what does our childhood smell like?  I think it is fascinating that each of us had different ideas when it came the the smell of our childhood.  Perhaps, this is what makes “the smell of childhood” as individual as each of our experiences.

Continue reading