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Articles on Smell

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A floral scent can be enjoyable for a person, but it has an important job for the flower. Richard L. Harkess

Why do flowers smell?

Not all flowers smell good, to people at least, but their scents are a way to attract pollinators.
Suddenly unable to smell your morning coffee? You likely have COVID-19. Kseniya Ovchinnikova/Moment via Getty Images

Daily DIY sniff checks could catch many cases of COVID-19

COVID-19 patients often lose their sense of smell and taste. This is rare for a viral infection. At-home smell tests could be used as a screening tool and help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Geoffrey McKillop (front) with his partner Nicola Dallet McConaghie as they left the hospital where he was discharged after surviving coronavirus. Liam McBurney/PA Images via Getty Images

What doctors know about lingering symptoms of coronavirus

Is it possible that people who recover from COVID-19 will be plagued with long term side effects from the infection? An infectious disease physician reviews the evidence so far.
A health worker carries out an olfactory test to monitor smell loss to a resident 65 km from Buenos Aires city, on May 24, 2020, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP via Getty Images

COVID-19, smell and taste – how is COVID-19 different from other respiratory diseases?

Many respiratory viruses cause us to temporarily lose our sense of smell. But SARS-CoV-2 isn’t like those other viruses. Researchers are now exploring how it differs and whether patients recover.
Cookies taste so good. Smell tells us that before we even take a bite. How? Jennifer Pallian/Unsplash

What makes something smell good or bad?

Mmmmmmm. That smells delicious. Wait, how do you know that?
No smell, no touch: People line up in Prague, Czech Republic, to get tested for the coronavirus. Getty/Gabriel Kuchta

Welcome to your sensory revolution, thanks to the pandemic

All of the senses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, not because the senses have changed, but because the world has, writes a sensory historian.

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