Simple Science

How Can We Feel Smell?

SmellPhoto by Dennis Wong

Everyone loves pleasant odors – the smell of flowers, or the smell of cakes that are baked. But the odor can be very unpleasant. It’s strange, but the amount of smell, no matter if it is pleasant or unpleasant, can be very small, and you still can feel the smell. Did you know that you can smell some substance even when their presence in air is incredibly small like: 1:30.000.000.000! This is true for a man whose sense of smell is weaker than the dogs.

How we feel smell? We feel the smell when chemicals come into contact with certain nerve endings. This matter must be in the form of a gas or vapor, otherwise it would not be able to travel through the air. Therefore, we can smell even at a greater distance.

Cells of senses of smell are located in the hair perched on the mucous membrane in the nose. These terminals have a very small area in the upper part of the nasal cavity. They are arranged so that the breathing air is pulled through them. But if you deliberately want to smell something, for example a flower, we usually breathe in strongly through the nose and thereby direct flow of air toward the right field for the smell.

To smell something, it must be of volatiles, in motion, or it must be brought to us with a matter that is in motion. When the smell gets in your particular area in the nose, it causes nerve power that travels to the brain, where we recognize the smell.

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Every day we encounter the six most common types of smell: the smell of flowers and fruit, the usual smell of spices, the smell of burning, rotten smell, the smell of gasoline and oil, and finally the smell of various essential oils ( it’s the smell of soap, perfume and the like ).

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