Human nose can identify 10 categories of smells

There are 10 different categories of smells according to a new study conducted by a team of US scientists.

The categories include citrus, mint, pungent, decaying, fragrant, woody or chemical. There are also more complex groups, one being described as minty, aniseed, spice, eucalyptus and camphor, while another lists popcorn, smoky, nutty, almond, oily and mouldy.

The study looked at 144 smell profiles from the 1985 Atlas of Odour Character Profiles and applied a statistical analysis to search for commonalities among the different odours.

Read more at Public Library of Science