smell

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Why Your House Doesn't Smell —to You

Your brain can effectively 'turn off' the scent

(Newser) - Ever noticed how your friends' homes have a distinct scent—but yours doesn't? Or wondered why the smell of your perfume doesn't get to you after a while? It's essentially because your brain has noticed these scents, registered them as unproblematic, and decided to ignore them, an... More »

Elephants Win Most Discerning Nose Award

They have twice as many olfactory genes as dogs and 5 times as many as humans

(Newser) - Dogs may hold the reputation as having the best noses among mammals, but when it comes to the number of genes associated with smell, the elephant stands alone. By a mile. New findings published in Genome Research suggest that African elephants have 2,000 active olfactory genes, the highest number... More »

Now Possible: Email You Can Smell

First fragrant message 'scent' across the Atlantic

(Newser) - For the first time, a smell has been sent across the Atlantic. Scientists on Tuesday emailed a fragrant photo from Paris to the the Museum of Natural History in New York. The email featured an image of food (specifically, passion fruit macaroons, notes Yahoo! ) and champagne tagged with the... More »

Science Explains Why Bacon Smells Amazing

It's thanks to 150 chemical compounds

(Newser) - What is it about bacon that gives it that incredibly potent fragrance—the smell so many love to wake up to? Turns out researchers have actually investigated this, and chemistry blog Compound Interest (get it?) digs up the results. The smell, the site explains, is the result of 150 different... More »

Judge: Cheese Restaurant Smell Not Too Bad

Manager of Swiss fondue place told not to pay fine

(Newser) - A judge has ruled that stinky-cheese smell isn't as bad as complaining about it in a rather mean way, the Guardian reports. Florian Kurz, the manager of a Swiss fondue restaurant, won't have to pay a $225 fine after two neighboring boutique clothing stores griped about the smell—... More »

Human Nose Can Detect 1 Trillion Odors

Some people can sniff far less, and others far more, say researchers

(Newser) - Prior to today, the official scientific answer to the question, "How many scents can the human nose detect?" was a measly 10,000. But now, thanks to a new study in Science , the answer is 1 trillion, give or take. Researchers had long assumed that the first number, based... More »

Your Heart, Lungs May Be Able to Smell

They appear to have odor receptors, researchers find

(Newser) - While your nose sniffs that fresh espresso, your heart could well be enjoying it, too. Researchers find that the heart, lungs, and even the blood may be capable of smelling, LiveScience reports. The nose has olfactory receptors to pick up on chemical compounds traveling through the air, and it appears... More »

Dogs Can Smell Lung Cancer

Scientists hope to build 'electronic nose'

(Newser) - Dogs are lung cancer detection experts, a study finds. They "have no problem identifying tumor patients," says a researcher in Austria, and that could lead to earlier diagnoses. Dogs who smelled 120 breath samples were able to sniff out cancer 70% of the time, a very "encouraging"... More »

Scientists Find 'White Noise' for Your Nose

New scent comes from blending compounds

(Newser) - Scientists have come upon a brand-new scent, and they're calling it white noise for the nostrils. Just as white light is a combination of wavelengths and white noise blends frequencies, "olfactory white" is the result of multiple compounds. Researchers arrived at their finding via a handful of experiments.... More »

Psychopaths Have a Lousy Sense of Smell

Study suggests it's no coincidence both originate in orbito-frontal complex

(Newser) - If you know someone with a terrible sense of smell, you might want to be careful around them. A new study suggests a link between a crappy olfactory and being psychopathic, AFP reports via Raw Story . Both phenomena have separately been linked to the same part of the brain, the... More »

If Sweat Doesn't Smell, Why Are We Stinky?

Turns out Bacteria is to blame for our smelly parts

(Newser) - Stuck in this week's brutal heat wave? You may be surprised to learn that sweat doesn't actually smell—and NPR has posted a video from the chemistry podcast Distillations to explain why. Turns out that there are two types of sweat glands, eccrine and apocrine; the former covers... More »

We Can Determine Personality by Smell

Our ability to judge personality is nothing to sniff at

(Newser) - You are what you reek? It turns out that we can tell a lot about someone's personality just by their smell, according to the New York Daily News . Sixty people in Poland wore the same T-shirt for three nights, and did not use soap, smoke, drink, or "eat... More »

'Pup Perfumes' Soothe Fido

Pheromones don't work for everybody, but calm some

(Newser) - Businesses are churning out pet "pheromone perfumes" to give Fido—and Puff—the kinds of smells they require to keep calm and happy. The pheromones can be sprayed, hooked up to a dog collar, and plugged into wall sockets for room coverage to diffuse chemical compounds aimed at soothing... More »

Ski Champ Concocts 'Smell of Victory'

Michelle Roark loves the smell of rose oil in the morning

(Newser) - Ski champ and chemical engineer Michelle Roark has put together a line of perfumes she insists can give athletes the winning edge. Roark, the 2009 US freestyle skiing champion, credits her scents like "Confidence"—which includes grapefruit oil and rose oil—with helping her succeed. Other scents include... More »

Honolulu Mulls Body-Odor Crackdown

City delays vote barring smelly people from riding public transit

(Newser) - Honolulu's city council has delayed voting on a measure to bar stinky people from public transit, reports the Advertiser. The ordinance would crack down on people with “odors that unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system.” Part of the reason for the delay... More »

FDA: Get Off Smell-Killing Zicam Nasal Spray, Now

Agency received over 130 reports of loss of smell sense

(Newser) - The Food and Drug Administration is calling on consumers to stop using Zicam nasal treatments because they can permanently kill the sense of smell, the Wall Street Journal reports. Zicam is an over-the-counter cold and allergy medication sold in several forms; customers should reject internasal products that contain zinc. The... More »

Rotten Lunch: Stinky Fridge Sickens 28 in Calif. Office

Office complex evacuated after fridge cleanup backfires

(Newser) - An incredibly foul stench from long-forgotten lunches forced hundreds of people out of a California office complex yesterday, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Fire crews and a hazmat team were dispatched to the building and 28 people were treated for vomiting and nausea. San Jose emergency workers traced the... More »

Library Rules: No Loud Yells, No Bad Smells

Homeless advocates get into lather over hygiene policies

(Newser) - Even if you haven’t been to a public library in a while you probably know the major rules: no shouting, no running, no food or drink near the books. But a rash of complaints from patrons have driven some Chicago-area libraries to institute a new prohibition: no offensive body... More »

Companies Spice Up the Smell Of Clean

Moroccan bazaar scent says you tidied up ... even if you barely did

(Newser) - Makers of household products are constantly working to redefine the smell of clean, the Wall Street Journal reports, even as Americans are spending 40% less time actually tidying up than they did 40 years ago. One of the newest is Procter & Gamble’s Moroccan Bazaar, a ginger-edged scent for... More »

Men Smell Like Cheese, Women Like Onion

Find an animal that smells like tomato and voila—pizza!

(Newser) - Working out at the gym may stimulate your appetite—or maybe it's the enticing scent of the person next to you. Sweaty men smell of cheese, and sweaty women smell like onion or grapefruit, New Scientist reports. Body chemistry accounts for the difference, say Swiss researchers who based their conclusions... More »

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