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Sense of Smell

Biology | 7-14 yrs | Animation, Video

What is a Smell?

A smell is a chemical compound that possesses 2 main characteristics: it is volatile (turns from liquid state to gas) and is in a high enough concentration to be detected by your olfactory system.

Your olfactory system is the anatomical name given to the parts of your nose and brain, that can sense smell. Therefore, smelling is the act of detecting chemical molecules in the air by sensitive nerves in your nose. When these molecules float into your nose, they stimulate these nerves, which send a signal to your brain, telling it what kind of smell it is.

Some of the rapid processes include:

  • Musky
  • Pungent
  • Putrid
  • Camphoraceous
  • Ethereal
  • Floral
  • Pepperminty

What smells good to one person may not smell good to another.

Head on to Biology for Kids for more such interesting biology videos and interactive articles.