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Sense of Smell Day
Held on the last Saturday in April, National Sense of Smell Day celebrates one of the five senses. Our sense of smell is more than a way to know when dinner is ready. It also plays a role as an early warning system, triggers memories, and interacts with our other senses.
Did you know, scent cells renew every 30-60 days and are the only sense nerve cells that can regenerate. Those scent cells allow us to recognize smells from childhood, triggering memories of Play-doh, grandma’s cookies or pipe smoke. It’s also the only sense directly connected to the brain where all those memories are stored.
Take a woman when house shopping. She’s more likely to smell unwelcome odors such as smoke, pet urine, or mold before a man. Women naturally have a better sense of smell.
While the loss of smell occurs naturally with age, it can also be a sign of illness, especially a neurological disorder such as Parkinson’s disease or an early stage of Alzheimer’s disease.
A human’s odor is like a fingerprint. Even when we wear deodorant or fragrances, our scent combines with those for a unique combination. Babies recognize the smell of their mothers. Spouses know the scent of their partners, too.
HOW TO OBSERVE SENSE OF SMELL DAY
Museums, children’s museums, and science centers across the country participate in celebrating this holiday by offering hands-on activities and informational displays about the sense of smell.
For fun, do a smell test at home. Collect items such as the ones listed below. Place a small amount of each item in individual containers. Cover them with a cloth and then take turns blindfolding family members to see if they can pass the smell test.
- lemon peel
- vanilla extract
- coffee grounds
- flower petals
- someone’s soap
Use #SenseOfSmellDay to post on social media.