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Nose: one of the five senses

What is smell?

Smell is one of the five senses by which odors are perceived. The nose, equipped with olfactory nerves, is the main organ of smell. Olfactory nerves are also important in distinguishing the taste of substances in the mouth. Many of the taste sensations can be said to have their origin in smell.

Olfactory sensations are difficult to describe and classify. However, classifications based on chemical elements associated with substance odors have been performed.

The seven primary odors

Some research indicates the existence of seven primary odors (camphor, musk, flowers, mint, ether, sour and rotten). These primary odors correspond to seven types of receptors on olfactory mucosa cells.

Research on smell indicates that substances with similar odors have molecules of the same type. Recent studies show that the shape of the molecules that give rise to odor determines the nature of the odor of these molecules and substances. These molecules are believed to combine with specific nose cells or chemical compounds within these cells.

The capture of odors is the first step in a process that continues with the transmission of impulse through the olfactory nerve to the perception of odor by the brain.