‘Living Mady Easy: Revolving hat’, a satirical print with a hat supporting a spy glass, an ear trumpet, a ciggar, a pair of glasses, and a scent box, 1830, London.
Wellcome Images CCBY
The history of smell in 18th-century England reveals the complex story of scent and personal space.
Do the eyes have it?
Would you rather lose your sense of touch or your vision? Here are the pros and cons of each, according to science.
As people age, their sense of smell can decline.
Our ability to smell is a function of the brain, so it makes sense that an impaired sense of smell can point to cognitive decline. The good news is training our noses may be effective.
The sense of smell helps us know what and where things are, like yummy food. R. Suarez.
The parts of the brain that get 'smell signals' from the nose also do other things, such as storing memories or provoking emotions. That is why some smells can bring back old memories.
Smelling odours that aren't there can be annoying. It can also be a sign of a serious underlying condition.
Your nose knows what’s on the way.
A weather expert explains where petrichor – that pleasant, earthy scent that accompanies a storm's first raindrops – comes from.
AI will be able to analyse compounds in your breath.
Compounds in your breath could help AI detect illnesses, including different cancers.
One of the signature fragrances of spring comes after the consumption of asparagus.
Perhaps you've noticed something unusual in the bathroom after you consume this healthy spring vegetable. A Speed Read explains there's two parts to the stinky puzzle: production and perception.
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?