Smells can be very hard to identify and name, unless you are given some prompting - or you speak Jahai, the language of an indigenous group in the Malay peninsula.
The smell of earth after rain is called Petrichor, and it is caused by Geosmin, a sesquiterpenoid metabolite with the chemical formula C12H22O. Human sensitivity to geosmin is about 10 parts per trillion. (via)
Choice blindness occurs when subjects are unaware that the choice they made is opposite their previously stated preferences. In this recent paper, subject preferences were reversed between tastes of jam and scents of tea. Overall, only a third of all the manipulated trials were detected by subjects whose preferences had been switched by the experimenters. [more inside]
Take your nose on a stroll down memory lane with vintage perfumery. The Vintage Perfume Vault features fragrance reviews and articles on perfume history. Perfume Shrine offers articles on perfumery including essays on the science of fragrance and aroma materials, interviews with perfumers and industry professionals, trend-watching. Inspiration in Perfumery profiles Henri Robert, Andre Fraysse, Ernest Beaux and Edmond Roudnitska. More about olfactory delights from 1000 Fragrances. [more inside]
Video of Dictyophora Indusiata. "When they find it, they sniff it. The scent of this mushroom causes sexual arousal, often to the point of orgasm." ^ Other interesting articles available from Aphrodisiology: List of Aphrodisiacs l Visual Stimuli l Pheromones & Perfumes. [more inside]
Seeing, Hearing and Smelling the World. From the main page, click on the various articles to access a larger left-side menu, with articles including Illusions Reveal The Brain's Assumptions, A Hot Spot in the Brain's Motion Pathway, The Value of Having Two Ears, The Memory of Smells and much more.
Zicam is an amazing intranasal gel that shortens the duration and reduces the severity of the common cold. I've had four colds so far this fall (I've got a toddler) and all of them disappeared within a day. Problem is, now reports are saying that if you get this stuff too far up your nose, you could lose your sense of smell. Damn!