What is the smell? – AlloDoctor

Your nose gives you access to an invisible world through the smell and smells your brain analyzes. Sometimes these smells attract or, on the contrary, repel each other. What really smells?

Noe Poetvin

wrote on

What is the smell? –
Health Magazine

It’s Sunday night, and you’re home and your stomach is gurgling, you open the fridge and all of a sudden… it smells bad. No doubt it’s the cheese you’ve forgotten about for a week.

The smell persists, and the room smells like, but why is this smell so recognizable?

olfactory information processing

An odor occurs when a chemical molecule gets close to the nose. On cheese, thanks to fermentation, methanethiol is released. It is an aroma molecule.

In the nasal cavity, thanks to the olfactory receptors, these odorous molecules are transmitted to the olfactory bulb, the memory of smells, and then to the brain.

If the smell of cheese is very well known, it is because the aroma molecule is very volatile. It easily passes in a gaseous state and floats in the air.

1,000 billion different scents

The smell of cheese doesn’t make everyone agree. If some like it, others are instantly disgusted. Indeed, the sense of smell is linked to the amygdala, which decodes feelings, and to the hippocampus, the organ of memory.

Thus, the brain associates smell with emotion. This is how it retains its distinctive Camembert scent.

According to a recent study, the brain will be able to distinguish at least 1,000 billion different scents.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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