Many literary questions about smell are quite philosophical. Why do humans get pleasure from perfumes? Do rich bodies smell differently from poor ones?
Smell is the Cinderella of the senses in Anglophone literature, but James Joyce wrote an olfactory revolution. His treatment of the science of smell was astonishingly prescient.
It’s time to stop being sniffy about the human sense of smell.
Move over, dogs. The latest evidence suggests humans can match most other animals when it comes to smelling – and even outperform them for certain scents.
Studying odour memory is more than just an interesting diversion, it has practical uses too.
A girl smells an individually crafted scent at Cat Jones’ Scent of Sydney.
© Jamie Williams
What's the smell you associate with your childhood home? Or road-trips? Or fear? Conceptual artist Cat Jones has created the Scent of Sydney for the Sydney Festival, exploring the city in smells.
Technology is catching up with dogs – and has additional advantages.
New research is narrowing the gap, creating technology with the detecting capabilities of canines but without the downsides of relying on a biological system.
Dan Lee / shutterstock
'Smell-free seas' would be a disaster for marine life.
Beekeeper inspecting a frame of honeycomb.
Honey bees are in decline and the current method of keeping them can be disruptive to a colony. But new designs allow beekeepers to monitor a hive remotely, even sniff out disease and pests.
The question of whether your reaction to asparagus is down to your stomach or your nose is a 300-year-old mystery.
A forensic scientist investigating one of the final and less smelly stages of decomposition in cattle.
The smell of death is easily recognised but not fully understood. Identifying the compounds behind it could lead to a number of improvements in forensics, including better trained cadaver dogs.
Human eyes are unique among primates for their range of iris colours and unpigmented sclera.
The science about our special senses - vision, smell, hearing and taste - offers fascinating and unique perspectives on our evolution. Yet it remains patchy; we know surprisingly little for example about…
Smells good – but how does it work?
New research couldn't find evidence for a controversial theory of how our sense of smell works.
Rain: you can tell when rain is coming just by the smell.
Are you one of those people who can smell when the rain is coming? Ever wondered then what you're actually smelling?
Whatever the adverts suggest, this isn’t going to increase your animal magnetism.
Do human pheromones exist? Despite the products some would sell you, there's no hard evidence yet.
Those of a nervous disposition might be better off buying chocolates.
When it comes to making careful plans to impress that significant other, certain things can seem like musts. Classy restaurant – check. Romantic atmosphere – check. Best suit or little black dress – check…
The smell of freshly brewed coffee is hard to beat.
Welcome to our three-part series Chemistry of Coffee, where we unravel the delicious secrets of one of the most widely consumed drinks in the world. So while you enjoy your morning latte, long black or…
Invading cuckoo birds may actually help their hosts survive, due to their unique method of deterring predators. Long thought…
Olfactory memory can trigger the recollection of associated events and regulates our sense of smell, shaping our preferences…
Incoming message: Nice glass of rioja and a baked camembert.
Even though we are communicating in more ways than ever using online technology, we remain largely confined to the audiovisual when we do it. An app that has been on sale in Japan for some time aims to…
Testing smell sensitivity with peanut butter could potentially confirm a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease, according…
px Latte art.
Familiar everyday odours such as coffee and red wine are produced by a blend of different substances. Given that we know aroma is nothing but a mix of volatile chemicals, can we understand them enough…