Smell-O-Vision coming to TV and gaming


Scented entertainment has been a dream for decades, and formally flopped in 1960 with the release in movie theaters of AromaRama and Scent-O-Vision. But the dream has lived on and may now find its way to TV. A collaboration between materials science researchers at the University of California San … [Read more...]

Vibration theory of smell makes a comeback


Fifteen years ago Luca Turin, now in biophysics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, first hypothesized that primary smell perception occurs via electron tunneling in the olfactory nerves. His theory challenged the existing idea that humans detect odors according to the shape of … [Read more...]

Stories that start with a sniff


Is it true that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans? In a word, yes. Their noses contain about 10 times more olfactory neurons that ours do. But that doesn't mean that they are better at every type of smelling. Because of their anatomical prowess, dogs excel at long-distance detection. But … [Read more...]

Some prescription medicines dim sense of smell


Some of the most common medications used by Americans cause zinc deficiency, including: the blood pressure medicines, called ACE inhibitors; loop diuretics used to treat cardiovascular problems; cholestyramine, which binds to bile acids and lowers cholesterol; oral contraceptives; stomach acid … [Read more...]

Most Americans self-conscious of body odor

Most Americans are highly self-conscious of our bodies' natural odors, and we pay dearly to mask them, to the tune of about 2 billion dollars per year in the US.

The Scentinelle has a way of striking family and friends awkward feelings about their body odors. Some have expressed worry or shame that I will think that they stink. Others take precautions before seeing me--like not eating garlic, using mouthwash or applying extra deodorant--and then tell me … [Read more...]

Recalled atorvastatin (Lipitor) reeks of mold


The pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has recalled another 38,000 bottles of its popular cholesterol-lowering medication, Lipitor, because the pills stink, literally. The contaminating odor has so far been found in two lots effecting 369,000 of the 40-mg pills. So what sniffs? According to WebMd, … [Read more...]

Septoplasty mutes the Scentinelle


Today I'm undergoing surgery on my nose, a septoplasty to be exact. I have a deviated septum from breaking my nose at least six times in as many years. It all started with a waterslide incident on the first Christmas that I spent with my husband when we were still dating. And now it may become the … [Read more...]

Lose smell, keep taste


When we're sick with stuffy noses, we don't smell or taste much of anything. This experience forms the basis for a common misconception that if we lose our sense of smell, we also lose our sense of taste. But a group of researchers studying the effect of smell on taste have reached a different … [Read more...]

Olfaction differences between the sexes

Can women detect smells better than men? The short answer is yes, but only for specific types of odorants, according researchers who reviewed most of the studies on the topic.* The compounds that women seem to detect better than men include some surprises: acetone (nail polish … [Read more...]

What’s behind my gift of sniff?

In real life, I am someone who went from suffering daily allergies and popping cetirizine (aka Zyrtec) like breath mints to someone who’s head and sinuses are completely clear with an extra 20 bucks her pocket at the end of the month. Quick calculation 20 bucks per month on allergy drugs x 10 years … [Read more...]