Smell question

All Questions & Answers

In the Log of Mar 06, 2005 – 2315hrs UTC, Pete posed the questions

Does cold inhibit the sense of smell?
As you spend extended periods of time with a particular smell, does the olfactory system desensitise that smell to make life a bit more comfortable?

Below are the responses that he received

From Kim K.
Answers to life’s big questions.
Things do not smell as much in the cold as they do not volatilise to the same degree. Except for the 2 kg of chipolatas from Coffs Harbour which have permeated our freezer. Must be strange to have rain without the delightful smell of the sporulating Actinomyces.
“”New Scientist”” recently had a short article about the great unwashed and apparently you reach a static, stable state much like my unwashed teacup at work (or an Indian’s curry pot).
Still, I think when you reach the tropics they will smell you coming from the Azores and the dermal flora will have a banquet!

From Ann G.

Olfactory factory
Dear Pete and Alex, to answer ur ? Olf. performance is influenced by
age, smell receptor staus (rodents and other small beasties have over
1000 odor recptors, humans 350) psychological state (familiar smells
give comfort in high stress environment), perception and ambient
temperature. We smell vaporized or gaseous compounds. So if body
effluent is not vaporized in some fashiom, you probably won’t mind. If
it is cold, and you are not waving your arms or shaking the nether
regions around, no chance to vaporize resident smells. Note to self:
when arrived at CH, skip initial bubbly party – you will be the only
ones there! CH noses will be operating properly. So, smell combines
hardware (receptors) and software (behavior, perception) plus sensors
(for temperature). Trust me, you’re so bloody stinky by now, you
should say a little prayer to himself that you are not in 40C weather.
Think about other environs where temp is high and close quarters -
?submariners, space shuttle. This is a small price to pay for any