Nobody knows what the nose knows!

Nobody knows what the nose knows!

Discover the hidden world of smell

We all know what the nose does, right? It detects chemicals from the air and sends a message to the brain, helping your brain make sense of the world around you.

Well, that's true. But did you know that scientists are only just beginning to discover how much our nose knows? For years scientists thought that our nose wasn't very useful to us at all.

Smelly kipper_87584630

Our nose lets us smell delicious - and not so delicious - food

We mainly rely on other senses to alert us to danger. However, scientists are beginning to realise that there's a lot more to our sense of smell than we first thought.

Some scientists think there is a link between odours we smell and our behaviour. One scientist found that the smell of hidden lemon-scented cleaner persuaded students to clean up after themselves! This was true even if the students didn't notice that they smelt anything.

What do you think? Could odours affect our emotions? To find out more, go to The unsung sense: How smell rules your life on the New Scientist website or have a look at this video of a smell science experiment.

Try our quiz and see how much you know about your nose!

I'm sorry, it appears you do not have flash installed.

Curriculum information

  • Summary


    Curriculum key wordsOther web links
    • 5
    Science Curriculum Links
    National CurriculumCurriculum for excellenceNorthern Ireland Curriculum