ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Your Sense of Smell: More Important Than You Think

Updated on May 11, 2017

The Importance of a Sense of Smell

Stop and smell the flowers!
Stop and smell the flowers! | Source

The Power of Your Sense of Smell

Some might say that a sense of smell is the least important of the five senses, but smell actually affects our lives in some dramatic and unexpected ways. Smell receptors are directly connected to our brains, so when a scent hits our noses, the information is immediately sent to our brains.

Sense of Smell and Memory

The part of the brain that processes smell is also responsible for memory and emotions. This is why smells can trigger early childhood memories that may have been long forgotten. Have you ever caught a whiff of pipe smoke and not only pictured your uncle reading the paper and smoking his pipe, but remembered the warm feelings you had for him? Does the smell of cinnamon cookies baking bring back memories of your grandmother's kitchen and her comforting hugs? For me, the scent of slightly mildewed old books instantly transports me back to the small rooms of the county library that I loved when I was nine years old and the lovely librarian who gave me "The Secret Garden" to read.


Sense of Smell and Taste

We all know that food tastes bland when we have stuffy noses due to a cold, but did you know that 80% of your sense of taste is smelling it? Imagine how much we'd miss if we couldn't smell that baking bread, cheesy lasagna or grilled steak.

Our sense of smell becomes less acute as we age, partly because it is dulled and partly because we just become so used to certain smells that they no longer register individually.This explains why older people complain that food no longer tastes good and why they may over-season food.

Infants Develop Sense of Smell in Womb

Scientists believe that babies can already smell while in the womb. By the time a woman is thirteen weeks pregnant, the olfactory (nose) nerves are connected to receptors in the brain. Babies can actually identify a variety of smells in the amniotic fluid before birth. After birth, infants can identify the unique scent of their mother's amniotic fluid. A few hours after birth babies can identify their mother's scent and the scent of their mother's breast milk. Because babies are comforted by breastfeeding and by the smell of their mothers, it's possible that a small amount of breast milk expressed on their blanket will comfort them when their mother isn't around.


Human Olfactory System

Human olfactory system. 1: Olfactory bulb 2: Mitral cells 3: Bone 4: Nasal epithelium 5: Glomerulus (olfaction) 6: Olfactory receptor cells
Human olfactory system. 1: Olfactory bulb 2: Mitral cells 3: Bone 4: Nasal epithelium 5: Glomerulus (olfaction) 6: Olfactory receptor cells | Source

Meaning of Important Words Related to Smell

These definitions were found in Wikipedia:

Anosmia (pronounced /ænˈɒzmiə/) is the inability to perceive odor, or in other words a lack of functioning olfaction.

Olfaction or olfactory perception is the sense of smell. This sense is mediated by specialized sensory cells of the nasal cavity of vertebrates.

Pheromone (from Greek φέρω phero "to bear" and hormone, from Greek ὁρμή "impetus") is a secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species.

Which Emotions Can People Smell?

While it has long been known that animals can smell fear, recent studies in the European Journal of Personality (Sorokoska et al.) have shown that people can sniff out dominance, extroversion and neuroticism in sweat. Women seem to have a better sense of smell in this area and are particularly accurate in identifying dominance in men by smelling their sweaty t-shirts.

Surprisingly, happiness can also be detected by smelling sweat says an article in Psychological Science (de Groot et al., 2015). Although test subjects did not consciously recognize the smell of happiness, videos of women smelling "happy sweat" show that their facial muscles relax into a smile, similar to one's reaction to another person smiling.

A Sense of Smell Sniffs Out Love

There are the obvious people smells that we can all identify. The tropical flower perfume of our best friend, the Lily of the Valley dusting powder that Aunt Maggie uses, or the Old Spice that clings to grandpa will evoke specific images of that person. But did you know that our sense of smell is connected to our romantic attraction to certain people?

Pheromones

Many animals identify and are attracted to potential mates by unique chemical scents called pheromones, and it turns out that humans are no exception. Until the 1980s it was thought that humans did not smell pheromones, but then a team of scientists led by Luis Monti-Bloch of the University of Utah found the tiny pair of pits inside the nose that are lined with receptor cells triggered by pheromones. While people don't consciously smell pheromones, they do have a response to them.

Opposites Smells Attract

It turns out that the old saying, "Opposites attract," has a basis in truth as women are attracted to men whose pheromones have dissimilar chemical makeup from their own.

While pheromones are not obviously noticeable, we smell them all the same, and that's one reason we're attracted to some people and not attracted to others. Studies have shown that women are unconsciously attracted to men whose body scents are most dissimilar to their own. Scientists believe that this is a way of ensuring better genetic compatibility and immune systems in their possible offspring. However, during studies, it was discovered that women on birth control pills were attracted to males with similar scents because their bodies thought they were already pregnant.

Short Circuiting Natural Selection?

Now, here's something to think about: Are we short circuiting the natural functions of our sense of smell for selecting the best mates by perfuming, showing, deodorizing and taking birth control pills? Should women use other methods of birth control when looking for a mate...maybe at the YMCA gym? Hmmm....

It's even been suggested that women who enter into a relationship while on birth control pills may become disenchanted with their choice once they no longer use the pill.


Sense of Smell Related to Parkinson's and Alzheimer's

The loss of your sense of smell, or anosmia, can be a precursor to other, more serious, problems.

Loss of smell not only affects your ability to taste the subtle flavors of food, it is also connected to your memory. Dr. Richard Doty, of the Smell and Taste Center at the University of Pennsylvania, says that loss of smell is one of the initial symptoms of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer's. Studies have shown that here is a big connection between lowered sense of smell and the likelihood that a person will develop these diseases later in life. He theorizes that, in some cases, environmental factors could be responsible for loss of the sense of smell and that those harmful toxins eventually cause Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

For more in depth reading on the effects of Anosmia, check out Annette R. Smith's article, Anosmia: When Your Nose Doesn't Know.


Some Interesting Facts About Smell

Here are some random, but interesting facts about smell:

  • The average person can recognize about 10,000 different smells!
  • People can recall smells with 65% accuracy after a year, but visual recall is only 50% accurate after 3 months.
  • Odors have a strong connection to memory because the part of the brain related to olfaction (smell) also handles memories and emotion.
  • Our sense of smell is responsible for 80% of what we taste. When our sense of smell is blocked our sense of taste is drastically reduced.Our sense of smell is strongly related to emotions, and very suggestible. If we are told that there is a certain smell in the room, chances are we will begin to smell it.
  • Our sense of smell is fully developed at birth, and before!
  • The global market for fragrances and perfumes is estimated to reach $33 billion dollars in the next two years.
  • The perfume industry and whale vomit. Whale vomit is called ambergris. It smells like fungus or wood and pieces of it are sometimes found washed up on beaches. Sound like you wouldn't want to pick this up? Think again because ambergris is floating gold! In 2006 an Australian couple found a piece of whale vomit that they sold for $295,000! In case you’re wondering what makes it so valuable, it is used as a stabilizer in making fine perfumes like Channel No. 5.


Health Benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy uses scents derived from natural plan extracts and oils. Some aromas have health benefits and can even affect us physiologically. Research has shown that certain odors can help relieve stress, anxiety and depression. While the field of aromatherapy is very broad, these are a few of the scents that have proven effects on us:

  • A lemon scent will significantly increase people's perception of their own health.
  • Lavender incense contributes to a pleasant mood—but it lowers volunteers' mathematical abilities.
  • The scent of lavender and eucalyptus increases people's respiratory rate and alertness.
  • The scent of phenethyl alcohol(a constituent of rose oil) reduces blood pressure.

There are some excellent in-depth articles on the use of aromatherapy and its health benefits. See some suggested links at right.


The Importance of Smell

What's most important to you about your sense of smell

See results

Appreciate your Sense of Smell

We all appreciate the smell of good food cooking or a bouquet of fresh flowers or a freshly bathed baby. But when you stop to think about it, there is so much more to our sense of smell.

And if you are a woman and have connected to the perfect mate, perhaps you have your sense of smell to thank!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Copyright ©2013 Stephanie Henkel

Do you have comments on the sense of smell?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 12 months ago from USA

      ValKaras - I believe that aromatherapy is an important component to a holistic approach to a healthy mind and body. I'm sure that we will all be learning more about its importance in the future. Thanks for your contribution!

    • ValKaras profile image

      Vladimir Karas 12 months ago from Canada

      A very interesting hub - especially where it's about aromatherapy. I have quite a collection of those oils and have been using some for enhancing my meditation, like ylang ylang, frankincense, and myrrh.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 23 months ago from USA

      Cyndi10 - How lucky you are to have such a fine-tuned sense of smell! I wish I did, but my ability to smell was damaged from being around paints and solvents years ago. Now I can smell some things, but not others, which makes me sad.

    • Cyndi10 profile image

      Cynthia B Turner 23 months ago from Georgia

      Hello Stephanie, This was an informative and interesting article on smells. I enjoy a very keen sense of smell, as did my grandmother. When I was younger and had the time I would spend time at the perfume counters. Later I could identity many of the colognes that others around me were wearing. It was fun (and still is) to try to identify the different notes in the perfume.

      Take care.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 23 months ago from USA

      pstraubie48 - How lucky you are to have an acute sense of smell. So glad to see you back here rereading my hub. Thanks for your kind comments and for the shares.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 23 months ago from USA

      Paul Kuehn - Thanks so much for your kind comments and for the shares. Isn't it amazing how many memories a brief smell can bring back?

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 23 months ago from sunny Florida

      Stephanie I read this before but it is so interesting, from beginning to end, that here I am having read it once again.

      So much our little sense of smell does for our lives that we often take for granted.

      My own sense of smell is very acute because I am very hard of hearing (have been since age 12) and wear strong trifocals....so my nose serves me very well..

      Awesome awesome hub.....

      shared g+ tweeted pinned

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • Paul Kuehn profile image

      Paul Richard Kuehn 23 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Stephanie, this is an outstanding hub which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I also learned a lot from it. Smells of perfumes really bring back a lot of romantic memories. I am sharing this hub with HP followers and with my Facebook followers.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Great article Stephanie about the scent of smell with your nose. A great read for this hub and very interesting! Voted up!

    • profile image

      tiffanyrose2015 2 years ago

      Very interesting article!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

      PegCole17 - Phantosmia must be very annoying, especially if you smell scents that are unpleasant. We don't often think about how we could be damaging our sense of smell, but your case proves that it can happen. I lost much of my sense of smell when I used solvents for airbrushing my china paints. I wore a mask to filter out paint particles, but never thought about what the solvents could do to my sense of smell. Thanks for reading and sharing your story!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Stephanie, This was quite interesting to me as I lost my sense of smell for a couple of years. It followed an incident where I used a strong chemical to remove glue residue from a tile floor when I was remodeling my bathroom. When the smell finally returned, smells were exaggerated beyond belief. It was literally painful to pump gasoline into my car or to be around anyone who was wearing perfume. Now I have what has been diagnosed as Phantosmia - I smell things that aren't really there. It's disconcerting.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA

      FlourishAnyway - Who knows? You may be dabbing a little whale vomit behind your ears along with your favorite perfume! :)

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I loved this hub with all of its interesting detail. Whale vomit. Blek!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      DDE - Thank you so much for your kind comments! I'm glad you found this useful and interesting.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Beautifully written and a lovely photo to go with his hub, a useful and interesting hub with many great facts

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      girishpuri - I'm so glad you found my article on your sense of smell interesting and informative. Thanks for commenting!

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Some very interesting and informative facts about sense of smell, thanks for an addition in my knowledge, God bless you.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Tillsontitan - I was also surprised at how early a sense of smell develops in babies. We take our sense of smell for granted and don't think about it very much except when it sends us strong messages (like something good cooking!) Thanks so much for stopping in to read and comment!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      What a great idea for a hub. Obviously we take our sense of smell for granted. It's always been there and it always works, for most.

      You've pointed out some interesting facts and left us food for thought. Like babies developing their sense of smell in the womb...isn't the bird process amazing? Nicely done my friend.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      harmony155 - I'm sorry to hear that you lost most of your ability to smell because of chemotherapy. I know that some illnesses will also destroy one's sense of smell, and it is sad to lose one of your senses. Thank you for reading and commenting on my article!

    • harmony155 profile image

      harmony155 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Too bad that chemotherapy at a young age kills your olfactory receptors. I can't smell much of anything, but I've been told it is blessing!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Vellur - Glad you enjoyed my article about your sense of smell! Thanks for your comments!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great educational hub about the sense of smell. Interesting and informative. Great facts about the sense of smell. Voted up.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Denise,

      LOL...you mean you didn't collect any of that very valuable whale vomit that you saw on the beaches? Glad you found some new information about your sense of smell here. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      What an amazing hub, Stephie. I've learned so many interesting facts, like: baby's develop their sense of smell in vitro; and, humans also detect pheromones. I found your entire article captivating.

      UP/U/I and awesome. (sharing). Boy, I wish I had known how much whale vomit was valued when I lived in Alaska! lol

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      LongTimeMother - Thank you! How nice that we share a love of "The Secret Garden". I recently watched the movie with my granddaughter, and found that I still love it! Isn't it wonderful how certain smells can evoke those long-forgotten memories?

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      Loved your hub. And I loved 'The Secret Garden' when I was a child!! Voted up on two counts. :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Sunshine625 - Mmmm...gardenias! That is a lovely smell, and how nice that you can grow them where you live.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks, Audrey!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      I also like lilac, and that's one I can still smell (sometimes). Enjoy!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Pamela99 - I'm not sure why my sense of smell has been deteriorating, but I have also noticed that sometimes it's better than others. Glad you enjoyed the article. Thanks for your comments!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      My gardenias are blooming, now that's one wonderful smell :)

      Yes, I only enjoy smelling clean laundry Haha!!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      So interesting!!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh gosh, that is sad! I love the fragrance of lily of the valley. I used to get that one and the Honeysuckle from Avon. Yesterday I bought two tea candles with a Lilac fragrance, another floral scent I love.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Denise, I was also amazed about babies' sense of smell. It's one sense that we don't think much about, but it certainly has a huge impact on our lives. Recently I saw an advertisement for Lily of the Valley cologne that made me kind of sad. That scent used to be my all time favorite and I can no longer smell it...but if I try hard enough, I can almost imagine it.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This is such an interesting and through article about the sense of smell. I have had 3 sinsus surgeries and over the years I have lost much of my sense of smell. I hate it and the doctors say there is nothing they can do to help. Sometimes I can smell better than other times. Your article was very thorough and reflected the importance of the sense of smell. Up and awesome.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      What an interesting hub, Stephanie. You've done an outstanding job with getting the information across visually, including with the diagram.

      I found it an amazing fact that our smell is fully developed at birth or before! Well, of course I was aware that babies can smell their moms.

      I enjoyed the poll as well. :) UP/I/A and sharing.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Teaches12345 - Learning about babies' sense of smell was new to me also. Now I know why my kids love pickles! :) Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading about the scent of babies in the womb and their recognition afterwards. What a fascinating fact. WEll done and voted up!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Tebo - I never thought about working on developing my senses...what a good idea! I imagine that is a great exercise for learning to use or senses more fully. Thank so much for your sharing your thoughts here.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Midget38 - I was also surprised that one's sense of smell could be related to certain diseases. Your sense of smell really is more important than you might think! Thank you for stopping in to read and comment. Thanks for sharing!

    • tebo profile image

      tebo 4 years ago from New Zealand

      A great hub about the sense of smell. Certain smells do bring up memories. Sometimes I try to work on developing some of my senses, smell being one of them. I usually try this when walking the dog and sometimes I do hearing. Pity I couldn't spend more time on sight as that seems to be failing! Thanks for an interesting hub.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      This was informative and interesting, Stephanie. I didn't know that the loss of the sense of smell was a precur to Alzhimer's! Thanks for sharing about how important it is to us. Passing this around.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Tillsontitan - It's interesting how different people will associate the same smell with so many different memories. Calamine lotion is definitely poison ivy for a lot of people! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      AudraLeigh - I'll bet that when you smell marking pens and sharpies, you'll be thinking about numbers! :) Thanks for stopping by to read and comment and thanks for the complement!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      What a great hub about something we all take for granted. So many favorite smells and so many that remind us of things...to take a different track, the smell of calamine lotion reminds me of my childhood...I had poison ivy several times and calamine lotion offered some relief...again, smells do remind us of people and things,

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • profile image

      AudraLeigh 4 years ago

      Learning about the sense of smell was interesting in your piece..I had no idea that "smell is also responsible for memory and emotions"...intriguing! What I found most "intriguing"...WHALE VOMIT!! Isn't that something!!! You are a great writer too!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Peggy W - I was pretty amazed at the value of whale vomit (ambergris) when I read about someone finding such a valuable chunk of it on the beach. I love to beach comb...maybe I'll look at the debris with fresh eyes! :) Thanks so much for stopping in to read, comment and share!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Stephanie,

      What a terrific hub! It makes sense that babies in the womb already have their sense of smell. It is probably what helps form the bond to their mothers. Now as to that whale vomit...interesting as well. The things we learn on HubPages! Ha! I could not decide how to vote because I obviously love the scent of food, but also flowers, babies and other things. If there had been an all of the above, that is what I would have voted. You brought up an interesting point about the masking that perfumes and deoderants do. Up votes and will share.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      pstrauble48 - I have a similar memory. My father would occasionally smoke a cigar. He's been gone many years, now, but if I smell cigar smoke, I immediately picture him. Sometimes, I just think I smell cigar smoke and it brings back his image! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Pretty amazing our little nose...and all it does for us. I was a bit surprised that we remember smells after one year (65%) but by sight (50%). However, every time I walk past someone smoking a pipe or cigar, I can smell the pipe and cigars my Daddy used to smoke even as I sit here.

      Great article, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing.

      Sending Angels to you this morning :) ps

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Glimmer Twin Fan - One of the wonderful things about our sense of smell is the way it is so closely linked to memory and how just a whiff of a certain smell can transport you back to another time and place. Thanks for sharing your memory.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      I can't walk by boxwoods without smiling. They remind me of my grandparents. This is fascinating. I knew an older gentleman once and he had lost his sense of smell. He also said that because of that he could not taste anymore. I always thought that was very sad and it shows me how intertwined our body functions are.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Moonlake - LOL, I knew what you meant! Sometimes we all think one thing and our fingers type something else. :)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Sorry again attracted.....I'm just dizy.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Alecia Murphy - It seems that the more we learn about our sense of smell, the more fascinating it becomes! Thanks so much for stopping in to read and comment on my article.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      This was a really cool hub to read. I knew that when my nose was stuffy, food didn't taste as good but I didn't know that it affected 80% of my taste.

      I had heard that smell and memory where linked but I didn't know it also had to with memory disorders like Alzheimer's. Definitely not going to see smell in the same way now. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Sorry I should have put a space between my grandmother's kitchen and opposite’s smells in my comment. I knew you were saying men are attacked to women's smells and women are attacked to men's smells.

      I sometimes comment without checking for mistakes.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Kashmir56 - Glad you found my hub interesting and informative - it's always nice to see you visit! Thanks for the votes and the share!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Bob, You were a man ahead of your time, but leave it to you to figure out that your aftershave might interfere with your fun! :) Thanks for stopping to get a whiff of my hub!

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

      This hub stinks: And that is its attraction!

      Great information, Stephanie in your indomitable style. When these things mattered, I was advised never to wear aftershave when "on the pull" as it would mask the pheromones which led to mating...seemed to work..

      Bob x

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend great interesting and well written article, it was very informative and I learned a few things i did not know before. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for sharing, Annette!

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      Thank you for linking to my article, Stephanie. I'm spreading the word about your hub through social shares. Happy #WriterWednesday!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Annette R. Smith - Thanks for bringing attention to your article on Anosmia. I will be linking it to this one as you have some wonderful information in it related to loss of smell.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Mhatter99 - Oh, my, dinner at the lion house sounds like it could have been a disaster! When other scents mask the aromas of food, it sure can ruin their flavor!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Larry Fields,

      It's interesting how odors that some might find disagreeable will bring back pleasant memories in others, but you're probably the only person in the world who associates cow manure with chocolate-covered ice cream bars! Thanks for sharing a bit of your childhood memories!

    • Larry Fields profile image

      Larry Fields 4 years ago from Northern California

      Hi Stephanie,

      Great hub! The birth control pill angle was especially interesting. Voted up.

      Here's a story from my childhood. We lived a few miles from a dairy. My mother preferred to get really fresh milk there, rather than the second-best milk at the supermarket.

      Sometimes I went along for the ride. And when I did, she would buy me a chocolate-covered ice cream bar.

      To this day, the smell of cow manure does not bother me. I associate it with chocolate-covered ice cream bars!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. Once I held a dinner dance in the zoo's lion house. There is a chemical that illuminates all odor, Guess what this did to dinner.

    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      A very interesting read, Stephanie. I'm one of those rare souls who lacks a sense of smell. I wrote about this in my hub, "Anosmia: When Your Nose Doesn't Know." I wish I could enjoy life's pleasant scents, but I'm glad that I can't smell the bad odors!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      onegreenparachute - I've never heard anyone mention that they perceived scents in their dreams...that's quite interesting! You must have very sensitive olfactory receptors. Thanks for stopping in to comment and share your thoughts!

    • onegreenparachute profile image

      Carol 4 years ago from Greenwood, B.C., Canada

      A very well written hub that's just packed with information!

      My sense of smell is quite acute and I enjoy seeing instant pictures in my mind when I smell a familiar scent. I can even percieve scents in my dreams!

      Vote up and shared!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Prasetio, It must be very difficult to live without a sense of smell - it's important in so many ways. Thanks for stopping in to read my hub and for your comment and votes!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I can't imagine if I can't smell something. Very well written and right on target. Good job, Stephanie.Thanks to remind us how sense of smell is very important. Voted up and take care!

      Prasetio

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      jpcmc - You make a good point - smells can trigger both good and bad memories. Glad that yours are mostly good ones! Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      What a fascinating hub. I must admit, that smell triggers a lot of memories. Mostly good one - I'm thankful for that. :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Nell, Thanks for stopping by to read and comment. Actually, one of the articles I read researching my hub on sense of smell suggested exactly what you mentioned - that possibly marriages don't work because mates were selected when the woman was on the pill! Scary thought, isn't it? Thanks for the share!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Angelo52 - I'm glad you found my article on the sense of smell interesting. Thanks for stopping in to read and comment!

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Hi Sunshine, I forgot to include a section on favorite smells! Maybe I'll add one. :) I love the smell of fabric softener, too and just bought some Mr. Clean that smells like fabric softener. I don't know how well it cleans, but I love the smell! Thanks for stopping by, and do keep smelling the roses...and the laundry (clean laundry, of course).

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Stephanie, fascinating read, I never realised about babies knowing the smell of their mothers milk, and what a great idea to put a drop on their beds. Interesting to see about pheremones and the pill, maybe that's why so many marriages don't work these days! yes getting back to the gym would be a great idea, no perfumes and aftershaves! lol! voted up and shared, nell

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      A very interesting article with lots of information on the sense of smell.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love the smell of clean laundry. Laundry detergent. Fabric softeners. I think I have an issue. Should I seek help? :) I also have a very sensitive sense of smell...it could be very annoying. Fabulous hub! It woke me up, I can now smell the roses!!! :)

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Moonlake, I think the attraction to opposite smells only applies to the opposite sex, and probably only to the subtle scent of pheromones. Injuries can impair one's sense of smell, and I'm sorry to hear about your son. It's true that our noses also alert us to danger by warning us of smoke, bad food or dangerous chemicals. Having no sense of smell makes it extremely important for your son to have smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in working order.

      Thanks for stopping in to read and thanks for your share!

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Very nteresting hub. It is amazing where we use our sense of smell. I didn't know that we're attracted to the opposites smells. There are times when my kitchen smells like my grandmother's kitchen.

      Our son lost his sense of smell from a head injury. I worry about him not being able to smell smoke in case of fire or smell gas. Voted up and shared.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Susan - I wouldn't have thought that dish washing could evoke a memory, but it proves that we can associate some unusual smells with our memories. Thank stopping in to comment!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Every time I get a whiff 0f Sunlight dish washing detergent I immediately think of my aunt and uncles house. It was the first smell I smelled walking into their house. Brings back great memories.

      Really interesting hub.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

      Billybuc - It's amazing how those smell memories stay with us throughout our lives, isn't it? They can bring back some very pleasant memories, or be linked to unpleasant memories. Thanks for being my first visitor!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      That was really interesting, Stephanie. I always find it amazing when I smell a certain food and I instantly recall having it as a child, and even the setting where I had it.