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Chemical Senses - The Sense of Smell

            One of the main aspects in having a delicious dinner is being able to smell the food you are eating. Our sense of smell is what helps us differentiate one food from another, whether is be sweet, salty, savory, or bitter. Our senses of taste and smell help us experience the world on a molecular level. Even though our mouths, our tongues mostly, provide some aspects of our tasting ability, it is our sense of smell that allows us to be able to experience all of the different flavors that are out there. When we sniff a food, small airborne molecules travel up into our nose, most are sucked in to our lungs; however there are some that sneak through and attach to the neurons called the olfactory epithelium; these are located at the top of our nostrils and they contain about 5 million receptor cells of which there are more than 350 different types. One particular odor will stimulate a number of receptor types that will create a pattern of activity that is distinctive of that particular odor. There are a staggering number of different patterns that allow us to discriminate between 10 to 100000 different odors. (Biswas, 2014) This is what helps us to distinguish the smell of vinegar to that of honey. Our sense of smell works efficiently in conjunction with that of our sense of taste, without the sense of smell, the sense of taste would be very bland; if one still had a sense of taste to speak of upon losing his or her sense of smell.
             One of the most amazing aspects of our sense of smell is that it actually has the ability to evoke memories, even before a specific scent has been completely identified. For instance, you may be standing in line at the supermarket and you smell a familar scent that takes you back to when you were a child and your mother had just called you in to lunch on a hot summer's day; only to then realize that you are standing next to lemons and the scent that brought about that memory was the smell of the lemons, reminding you of the lemonade she would pour in to your glass as you stood waiting patiently for that thirst quenching drink.

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