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Smell and Health

This blog includes information on smell and taste, including the basics but also the latest news, e.g. Smell - what & how, Role of smellFunction of pleasant smell,Theories of smellSmell & MoodSmell & DepressionSmell of disease, Therapeutic use of smellSmell memory & healthAnosmiaSmell trainingTasteHealthy smell (below), and these topics will be updated regularly. I don't deal with "alternative facts" so I try to give a reference to everything I report. There is also a smell NEWS section which reports on the latest stories in smell.

Healthy smell
What is a "healthy" smell? Can smells influence health? If you don't like someone's smell then either they have an immune system very similar to yours (see section on HLA and mate selection) or they are ill.
We will see that disease smells and dogs and humans can smell this, smell can be therapeutic, smell can cause anxiety, and curative herbs smell pleasant.
Lemon aroma in a d…

Role of Smell

What is smell and what does the sense of smell do for us?

Hazard warning | Memory prompt | Chemical signalling | Antidepressant | Flavour detector |
Appetite control | Mate selector (HLA detector)
also: Smell and the pill

Hazard warning
Smell is one of the chemical senses, the other being taste (see "Taste" page). They are so called because they sense chemicals, and smells are, of course, chemicals. With these senses we sample our environment for information. We are continuously testing the quality of the air we breathe (this will alert us to potential dangers, e.g. smoke) as well as using this sense to inform us of other relevant information, such as the presence of food or another individual. The chemicals detected by our sensory systems need to have certain properties. For instance, odour molecules must be small enough to be volatile (less than 300-400 relative molecular mass) so that they can vapourise, reach the nose and then dissolve in the mucus. This…