Sunday, June 18, 2023

Everyone Smells Differently

I learned that everyone has their own unique scent, even twins but humans also smell differently from each other. The smell of your face wash can smell like candy but to others it wont. The receptors in our nose control the sensors which decides how we smell odors. There is 400 genetic codes for the receptors in our nose and many more variations of these genes. When the receptors of two people are compared, it is usually 30 percent different from each other. When one person smell an odor their receptors that are activated and the signal sent to the brain can be different from the next person.

I want to also mention olfactory disorders like Phantosmia and Parosmia that anyone can obtain. Phantosmia is when a person is often smelling something even though their is nothing around them, basically hallucinating scents. This can be caused from a brain injury, sinus or upper respiratory infections and more. Parosmia is when a person's smell is altered, something like their go to perfume would now have a garbage smell. This would happen because the receptors in the nose do not detect the odors and send the signals to the brain incorrectly. This can also be obtained by brain injuries, brain tumors, sinus infections and more.

Duke Today Staff. (2013, December). No Two People Smell the Same. Duke Today.

Sreenivas, S. (2023, May). What is Parosmia?. WebMD.

WebMD. (n.d.). Phantosmia: Is your nose playing tricks on you?. WebMD.


  1. Hi MF,
    You did a great job explaining how everyone has their own scent! It is crazy how we can't even smell our own odor, but others can. To think there are 400 genetic codes is insane. When we think of smelling we simply imaging just sniffing something. When it really is so much more than that.
    It is also interesting that there is a condition that makes a person hallucinate smells. You did a great job explaining that disorder, as it makes a lot of sense now! When we think of hallucinations, we always just imagine false images. When really, hallucination can also be seen through smell.

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  3. Hi MF,
    Your post was very interesting and informative. I didn't know that Phantosmia existed until you mentioned it. This also connects to anosmia or losing the ability to smell. In the reading we learned how anosmia can be devastating, but also allows people to appreciate odors even more when they do regain smell. Great post!