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Below are words in the scented landscape that fall under the Science category. Included here are words from biology, psychology, chemistry, engineering and neuroscience disciplines.

This is an informal labor of love, with no paid editors, please send an email if you find an error, omission of attribution or if you have word(s) to add. 

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ageusia, noun, (Biology)    A dysfunction of true taste. A person with this condition cannot perceive sweet, salty, sour, bitter or umami.                                                                                

anosmia, noun, (Biology    ) Equivalent to 'blind' and 'deaf'. The incapacity to smell.     "Scientists were able to list anosmia as an important symptom of covid-19".                                                                                        

aromafork, noun (Technology    ) "A Canadian invention from 2014, where a fork designed with apart that emits scent as someone eats from it. A user puts a dropper to put 'liquid aroma' in a capsule under the handle It then soaks through a piece of blotting paper as a smell in the mouth"    - The Daily Mail, UK                                                          

AromaJet, noun (Technology) This device with scent compartments from the 1990s was supposed to be attached to the computer, in order to add smells to games. "When the player arrived at the virtual forest, he suddenly smelled burnt wood. A dragon was about to toast him".    AromaJet, 1990s. 

cacosmia, noun, (Biology) Cacosmia is a disorder of the sense of smell. It's a type of parosmia. It occurs when there's a problem somewhere along the pathway of smell. When this happens, a person is unable to recognize smells or interpret the odors of different substances.. - Healthline    

captive, noun, (Chemistry) A captive refers to a proprietary molecule that is only supplied by the patent holder for a premium price. Cetalox is a beautiful molecule owned by Firmenich which is a substitute for the rare natural ingredient, ambergris.                                                                                        

chemosensory, adjective (Neuroscience) Systems (of a sense organ or receptor) responsive to chemical stimuli. Chemosensory systems are highly specialised sensory systems of which taste and smell are prototypical examples. Taste, primarily, but olfaction as well, are screening mechanisms for potentially useful/harmful compounds. The variety of compounds we can detect dictates the diversity of signalling mechanisms.- "Chemosensory Systems" article by Andrew I Spielman  Mehmet H Ozdener  Joseph G Brand                                                                                    

chemosignaling, verb, (Neuroscience) Chemosignals are chemical signals the human body gives off, often through sweat, through which people can interact. Researchers at Utrecht University tested the hypothesis that it is possible to transfer an emotion from one person to another through the fumes the sender's sweat gives off Researchers chose to work with the emotions of fear, scientifically known as sensory acquisition, and disgust, also known as sensory rejection (1). In this experiment, only males were chosen as the senders because they produce more potent sweat signals, whereas only women were chosen to be used as receivers because they are shown to have a more acute sense of smell. - “The Truple Helix”, Brown University, 2014


chemotypes, noun, (Chemistry/Botony) For the same plant the growing conditions can significantly influence the chemical compositions of the essential oil contained, which is why some oils are completely different from one region to the next.                                                                                             

combinatory code, noun    , (Neuroscience) When the neuron code (eg. mOR272-1) matches an odor molecule (e.g. geraniol) - Andreas Keller Cooper Union lecture April 2020                                                                                    

coronosmia, noun, (Biology) Coronosmia is a contraction of 'corona' and 'anosmia' and refers to anosmia as a symptom of covid-19. “He never recovered from his coronosmia after contracting covid-19 in February 2020.”


Digital Scent Technology, noun, (Technology    ) The engineering discipline dealing with olfactory representation, specifically technology to sense, transmit and receive scent-enabled digital media (such as web pages, video games, movies and music). This sensing part of this technology works by using olfactometers and electronic noses.    


dognosis / dognostics, noun, (Animalia) The concept of dogs' ability to be trained to detect things such as cancer, and the general trend of a dog's' ability to detect landmines or whale scat.                                                                                         

drosophila olfactory system, noun, (Animalia) Drosophila is the name of a species of fly, the fruit fly, where scientists are making progress studying the integration of stimulus and behavior through their olfactory system    "In the Drosophila olfactory system, which is anatomically very similar to its vertebrate counterpart, there has been substantial recent progress in understanding the flow of information from experiments using molecular genetic, electrophysiological and optical imaging techniques. In this review, we shall focus on how olfactory information is processed and transformed in order to extract behaviourally relevant information.  - from article ""Olfactory Information Processing in Drosophila” , Masse, Turner, Jefferis                                                                                

dysgeusia (Biology) a distortion of the sense of taste. - AbScent                                                                                    

E-Fido, noun, (Technology)                                                                                                

electronic noses, noun, (Technology) A device intended to detect odors or flavors. (e.g. the "KunKun" device used by consumers in Japan to detect body odors).                                                                                            

empyreumatic, adjective     (Science/Fin-de-siècle) An adjective to describe scents that have a smoky or burnt aspect to them. Examples are chocolate, coffee, vanilla and tobacco. The term was used in the 18th and 19th century.                                                                                            

eNose, noun, (Technology) A device intended to detect odors or flavors.    "The eNose was able to detect anomalies in the chemical exhalations of the patient".    


ethyl mercaptan, noun, (Chemistry) A skunk smelling chemical added to odorless, dangerous chemicals in order to make the dangerous odors known. Also known as Ethanethiol an organosulfar compound.     


fecal odorgram, noun, (Biology/Anamalia)”Modern and ancient human feces (coprolites) and modern nonhuman animal fecal samples were subjected to headspace gas-chromatographic analysis for detection of odors related to dietary intake. The odors of grass, green leaves, licorice, meat, and corn were detected in coprolites dating to 6400 years BP (before present). Analysis of modern human samples revealed a large number of odors reflecting dietary constituents. The complexity and number of fecal dietary odors recovered was directly related to the number of food items ingested. Animal fecal odorgrams were characterized by a relatively large number of pleasant odors. Fecal odorgrams represent a new method by which modern and ancient diets may be partially reconstructed."  - Moore, J.G., Krotoszynski, B.K. & O'Neill, H.J. Fecal odorgrams. Digest Dis Sci 29, 907–911 (1984).                                                                                    

flehmen response, noun, (Animalia) The flehmen response (/ˈfleɪmən/); from German flehmen, to bare the upper teeth, and Upper Saxon German flemmen, to look spiteful), also called the flehmen position, flehmen reaction, flehmen, or flehmening, is a behavior in which an animal curls back its upper lip exposing its front teeth, inhales with the nostrils usually closed, and then often holds this position for several seconds. It may be performed over a sight or substance of particular interest to the animal, or may be performed with the neck stretched and the head held high in the air.

Flehmen is performed by a wide range of mammals, including ungulates and felids.The behavior facilitates the transfer of pheromones and other scents into the vomeronasal organ (VNO, or Jacobson's organ) located above the roof of the mouth via a duct which exits just behind the front teeth of the animal. The flehmen response was first described by Frederik Ruysch[when?] and described later by Ludwig Jacobson in 1813. - wikipedia"    The function of the flehmen response is intraspecies communication. By transferring air containing pheromones and other scents to the vomeronasal organ (VNO), an olfactory-chemosensory organ located between the roof of the mouth and the palate, animals can gather chemical "messages". Humans do not have this response due to the fact that we don't have a sufficient vomeronasal organ.                                                                                     

gas chromatography, noun, (Technology) Gas chromatography is a common type of chromatography used in analytical chemistry for separating and analyzing compounds that can be vaporized without decomposition. Typical uses of GC include testing the purity of a particular substance, or separating the different components of a mixture.    


gas chromatography–mass spectrometry, noun, (Technology) Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry is an analytical method that combines the features of gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample.                                                                                            

Geruchshelligkeit, noun, (Psychology/Fin-de-siècle) In 1931 scientist Von Hornbostel came up with the term 'Geruchshelligkeit' to express the intensity of a scent in terms of shades of darkness and brightness                                                                                            


human olfactory psychophysics, noun (Neuroscience) Human olfactory psychophysics, the study of how humans perceive odors, is possible because humans have acquired language. Human subjects can report directly if something smells, characterize the smell, or decide if two smells are distinguishable. Answers to these simple questions have the potential to provide insight into important questions: What (if any) is the relationship between the chemical structure of an odor and its perceived smell? What types of olfactory stimuli can be discriminated, and how is this accomplished in the nose and the brain? How does experience modulate our perception of odorants? " - Andreas Keller, Leslie B. Vosshall, Human olfactory psychophysics, Current Biology, Volume 14, Issue 20, 2004, Pages R875-R878,"                                                                                        

hyposmia, noun, (Biology) Hyposmia or microsmia, is a reduced ability to smell and to detect odors. A related condition is anosmia, in which no odors can be detected. Some of the causes of olfaction problems are allergies, nasal polyps, viral infections and head trauma.                                                                                  

inScent, noun (Technology) A wearable olfactory display as an amplification for mobile notifications. - David Dobbelstein, 2020.                                                                                    

iSmell Personal Scent Synthesizer, noun, (Technology) The iSmell was a device developed by DigiScents in 1999. It is a small device that can be connected to a computer through a Universal serial bus (USB) port and powered using any ordinary electrical outlet. The appearance of the device is similar to that of a shark’s fin, with many holes lining the “fin” to release the various scents. Using a cartridge similar to a printer’s, it can synthesize and even create new smells from certain combinations of other scents. The company declared bankruptcy in the early 2000’s. 

Laing's limit, noun, (Psychology) Research done in the 1980s and 1990s by David Laing, which proved that humans can perceive no more than four odors at one time.                                                                                             

machine olfaction, noun, (Technology) The automated simulation of the sense of smell using robots or other automated systems to analyze air-borne chemicals.                                                                                             

mass spectrometry, noun, (Technology)                                                                                                    

microsmia, noun, (Biology) Microsmia, or hyposmia, is a reduced ability to smell and to detect odors. A related condition is anosmia, in which no odors can be detected. Some of the causes of olfaction problems are allergies, nasal polyps, viral infections and head trauma.     - Ilja Croijmans                                                                                

nasal microbiome, noun, (Anatomy) The microbiome is the genetic material of all the microbes - bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses - that live on and inside the human body. The number of genes in all the microbes in one person's microbiome is 200 times the number of genes in the human genome. Nasal microbiome refers to the microbiome specific to the nose and olfactory systems.    It's been widely reported how the mix of our gut bacteria can end up having a direct impact on our health. Now, new research points to a similar link between our wellbeing and the microbiome in the nose. -                                                                                

nasal reflex neurosis, noun, (Psychology) A diagnosis given by Freud and his protege Wilhelm Fliess. They believed that the nose and the genitals were connected. A diagnosis of Nasal Reflex Neurosis for Freud's patient Emma resulted in a surgery that permanently disfigured her and have her anosmia. Despite this, Emma still became a psychoanalyst studying Freud's work.    


normosmic/normosmia, noun, (Biology) A person with a healthy sense of smell.     - AbScent                                                                                    

nuclear magnetic resonance, noun, (Technology/Chemistry), Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is widely used to determine the structure of organic molecules in solution and study molecular physics and crystals as well as non-crystalline materials. NMR is also routinely used in advanced medical imaging techniques, such as in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It is used by chemists to study odorant molecules. 


odor emotional conditioning, noun, (Psychology) The psychological concept that when introducing scent to an activity, we are able to condition people's emotions. In an experiment in Rachel Herz's lab in 2006 she and her colleagues proved the concept of odor-emotional conditioning by exposing children to a scent that was associated with a frustrating experience. By exposing the children to this scent, the children later acted in a frustrated and unmotivated way when later exposed to that saem aroma. (p. 110, "The Scent of Desire", Rachel Herz                                                                                    

odor memory, noun    (Psychology) ”Nowhere is this truer than what is now described, by psychologists, as the 'Proustian hypothesis of odor memory' (Engen, 1982, page 98).    


odor valence, noun (Neuroscience) Odor valence is another term for odor perception, one of the most important aspects of olfaction.    Neuroscientists study neurons that support olfactory valence in order to understand hedonic-based behavioral responses. Hedonic-based behavioral responses is a fancy way of saying liking something. These neurons in control of olfactory valence influence also reward-motivated approach behavior.                                                                                    


odorbot, noun, (Technology) A smell detection device.  Kenshi Hyashi, 2018.                                                                                    

odorgram, noun, (Technology    /Chemistry) GC output for a particular substance - a measurement of odor, re-creatable  See "fecal odorgram", also more TK Ton van Harreveld from Odournet.

odorphobia, noun, (Psychology) Fear of odors (Like osmophobia)                                                                                

odourprints, noun, (Sensory Borrowing    Science)    The idea that forensic scientists could develop odourprints along the lines of fingerprints and voiceprints. Chapter: Smellscape in "Landscapes of the Mind", Porteous, D., 1990                                                                                        

olfactometer/olfactometry, noun, (Technology) An instrument used to detect and measure odor dilution    An olfactometer is an instrument used to detect and measure odor dilution. Olfactometers are used in conjunction with human subjects in laboratory settings, most often in market research, to quantify and qualify human olfaction. Olfactometers are used to gauge the odor detection threshold of substances. (wiki)        


olfactophore, noun, (Chemistry) Kraft et al (2000) have also developed olfactophore models for pear, green or galbanum, sandalwood, amber and muse, all using the Catalyst (r) pharmacore software from Accelrys (formerly msg).  (The Chemistry of Fragrances: From Perfumer to Consumer, figure 14.12)    An olfactophore is a three dimensional model of molecular features that code a certain odor impression, it is like a pharmacophore in style but different in it that does not correspond to one receptor only, but to the group of combinatorial codes assigned to a given odor.                                                                                        

olfactorphobia, noun, (Psychology    ) Fear of odors (Like osmophobia) refers to a fear, aversion, or psychological hypersensitivity to odors. The phobia generally occurs in chronic migraine sufferers who may have odor triggered migraines                                                                                            

olfactory epithelium, noun, (Anatomy) The tissue in our nasal cavity responsible for capturing odors.


Olfactory Mapping, noun, (Science/Art)     1. (Science) Olfactory mapping is the chemical and physical process of how we interpret a large number of odor stimuli. 2. (Sociology/Art) Olfactory mapping is the process of matching coordinates of phsyical space to a specific odor.     In order to honor the natural smells of the landscape in Singapore the project "Ode to Smell" uses the process of olfactory mapping by creating and preserving olfactory captives of precise coordinates in the landscape.     


olfactory measurement, (Chemistry/Technology) 


olfactory metacognition, noun, (Psychology) Awareness and understanding of one's own thought processes as they relate to our sense of smell. “- Fredrik U. Jönsson, Mats J. Olsson

Chemical Senses, Volume 28, Issue 7, September 2003, Pages 651–658"                                                                                    

olfactory receptors,    noun, (Anatomy) Olfactory receptors (ORs) are used to detect odors. They are composed of 172 families and contained in 339 genes and 297 pseudogenes in humans.1 These are transmembrane proteins composed of 7 alpha helices. An olfactory receptor can recognize several 

odorant molecules and one odorant can activate several receptors. The mammalian olfactory system uses combinatorial coding by receptors to identify and discriminate odorants.    "In order to initiate the process of determining how the molecular level receptor-odorant interactions are related to odor perception, we used the SWISS-MODEL modeling server to predict the three dimensional (3D) structure of the human olfactory receptor (hOR1G1). (Egyptian Journal of Ear, Nose, Throat and Allied Sciences

Volume 18, Issue 3, November 2017, Pages 257-265)"                                                                                        

olfactory reference syndrome, noun, (Psychology), Olfactory reference syndrome is characterized by the erroneous belief that one emits an unpleasant body odour. This results in significant distress and is often accompanied by repetitive behaviour such as frequent showering in an attempt to camouflage the perceived odour. - South African Journal of Psychiatry                                                                        

olfactory tubercle, noun, (Anatomy)                                                                                                

olfactory white, noun, (Chemistry) Olfactory white is a smell composed of many equally strong but diverse smells, perhaps over 30. Mixtures of many different smells across the perceptual range all tend to smell very similar to humans, despite different components making them up. The concept is similar to all different spectral colours combining to form white. Olfactory white is neither pleasant or malodorous. Research Article from 2012                                                                                      

olfagram    noun, (Technology) See odorgram. More TK Ton van Harreveld from Odournet                                                                                    

orthonasal olfaction, noun, (Biology)What your nose detects from sniffing something that exists in the world. Sniffing a rose, unless you are also chewing it, used the orthonasal route for smell.                                                                                            

osmophobia, noun, (Psychology) Osmophobia, odorphobia, or olfactophobia refers to a fear, aversion, or psychological hypersensitivity to odors. The phobia generally occurs in chronic migraine sufferers who may have odor triggered migraines.                                                                                             

osmophore/osmophoric, adjective/noun, (Chemistry/Physiology) 

1. A chemical group whose presence in the molecules of a substance causes the substance to have a smell.

2. Botany 

A scent gland found in the flowers of certain plants, especially orchids."Osmophore is the most polar group of an odorant that orients a molecule on its receptor, and as an important criterion osmophores are interchangeable, at least HBA (hydrogen-bond acceptors) and HBD (hydrogen-bond donors) within each other. (reference Kraft paper). 'What’s Hot, What’s Not: The Trends of the Past 20 Years in the Chemistry of Odorants', 2020                                                                                        

otolaryngologists, noun, (Medicine) Otolaryngologists are physicians that specialize in the treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related bodily structures. People also refer to otolaryngologists as ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors. They provide both medical and surgical care.    


parosmia, noun, (Biology) Parosmia is a dysfunction with smell detection that is characterized by the inability of the brain to properly identify an odor's "natural" smell. "a distortion in the sense of smell. For instance, the smell of coffee might become disagreeable and have an off, burned smell. Parosmia distortions can be hard to describe, but most often are described as smoky or burned. A person with parosmia is called parosmic"        - AbScent                                                                                    

phantosmia, noun, (Biology) A disturbance in which the person perceives smells that do not exist (smell phantoms). These smells are not associated with a smell that is present. A person with phantosmia is called phantosmia.    - AbScent                                                                                    

retronasal olfaction    , noun, (Biology) Retronasal olfaction means perceiving smells via our 'second' or 'internal nose'. An internal air flow from our mouth cavity to our nose cavity (where the olfactory nerves reside) results in what we label as 'flavour'. Smell is responsible for about 70% of flavour (according to Charles Spence). Taste only to a limited extend. Pliny the Elder referred to this type of perception as 'internal smelling'. The Romans were known to eat perfumes because they were aware of this physical capacity.                                                                                            

Sensorama, noun, (Technology) The Sensorama was a machine that is one of the earliest known examples of immersive, multi-sensory (now known as multimodal) technology. This technology, which was introduced in 1962 by Morton Heilig, is considered as one of the earliest virtual reality (VR) systems.[.....The Sensorama was a mechanical device, which includes a stereoscopic color display, fans, odor emitters, stereo‐sound system, and a motional chair. It simulated a motorcycle ride through New York and created the experience by having the spectator sit in an imaginary motorcycle while experiencing the street through the screen, fan-generated wind, and the simulated noise and smell of the city.[1] These elements are triggered at the appropriate time such as the case of the release of the exhaust chemicals when rider approached a bus.[2] The petrol fumes and the smell of pizza snack bars were recreated by chemicals.[3] While the machine still functions today, audiences cannot interact with it or that it cannot respond based on the user's actions.[4]" - from wikipedia                                                                                            

Smell-O-vision, noun, (Technology) Smell-O-Vision was a system that released odor during the projection of a film so that the viewer could "smell" what was happening in the movie. The technique was created by Hans Laube and made its only appearance in the 1960 film Scent of Mystery, produced by Mike Todd Jr., son of film producer Mike Todd.     "Thanks to 'Smell-O-Vision" the movie became much more realistic and made a lasting impression".    Hans Laube.                                                                                    

Smellosophy/smellosopher, noun, (Science/Philosophy) Smellosophy is the philosophy of smell, and a title of researcher Anne-Sophie Barwich's book. In her words, "my work focuses on the chemical senses and probes ways to apply philosophical ideas to empirical research on how we should model perception and cognition in the brain." She is also interested in the study of magic tricks. As fellow smellosopher Andreas Keller argues, in his book published four years prior to Barcwich's, a philosophy of olfactory perception would allow, demand, and grant a different language and open up novel ways to study sociospatial dynamics (because of the limitations in using words) and a focus on the nature of perceptual qualities behavior and not their arrangement in space and time. Smellosophy speaks to the nature that there are still many unknowns with respect to science and human perception around scent.   

smellwalk, noun (Psychology/Philosophy) During a smellwalk, people become aware of the associative, emotive, spatial and temporal qualities of their olfactory environment. "Surveys and mapping of smellscape may perhaps be performed via smellwalks (compare soundwalks, and the Lynchean "walk around the block."0" page 26, 1990, Porteous, D. "McLean has led small armies of urban explorers on 'smellwalks' around 12 other cities, including New York, Singapore, Barcelona, and Kiev". FIrst used in "Landscapes of the Mind", by Douglas Porteous, please see page 26-27, also used by contemporary artist Kate McLean and others.                                                                                    


SPME, noun, (Chemistry) Solid Phase Micro Extraction is a patented method for capturing scent of a flower or fruit without touching it, using a fine needle. The method is fast, simple, inexpensive and can provide even more information than headspace technology.                                                                                             

suffiments, noun, (Science/History    ) All scents that have a 'medicinal' aspect to them. Used in pre-modern England.                                                                                            

TAARs, noun, (Chemistry) TAARS are extra-nasal trace amine-associated receptors    Trace amine-associated receptors (TAARs) are G Protein-Coupled Receptors that function as vertebrate olfactory receptors. Like odorant receptors, TAARs constitute an ever-evolving sensory subsystem, with individual TAARs recognizing particular chemicals and some evoking stereotyped behaviors. Several TAARs mediate aversion or attraction towards volatile amines that include the mouse odor trimethylamine, the predator odor 2-phenylethylamine, and the death-associated odor cadaverine.  - Stephen D. Liberles                                                                                    

Unidentified Foreign Odors (UFO), noun, (Psychology) Responsible for more than 50 percent of the reported outbreaks of psychogenic illnesses, controversial illnesses that do not seem to have a discernible physical basis. (p. 104, Rachel Herz, "The Scent of Desire")                                                                                        

UPSIT test, noun, (Biology) University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test. A scratch and sniff test that tests a person’s ability to identify common smells.                                                                                        

vasopressin, noun (Biology) Vasopressin, a hormone, produced in the olfactory bulbs alters odour processing and thereby short-term social recognition in rodents and vasopressin released from other regions, such as the AON, PIR and LC may also contribute to this processing both within and outside the olfactory bulbs. "Neural vasopressin is a potent modulator of behavior in vertebrates. It acts at both sensory processing regions and within larger regulatory networks to mediate changes in social recognition, affiliation, aggression, communication and other social behaviours. There are multiple populations of vasopressin neurons within the brain, including groups in olfactory and visual processing regions."  - "The role of vasopressin in olfactory and visual processing", by Douglas Wacker, Mike Ludwig                                                                                      

vomeronasal organ, noun, (Anatomy) Jacobson's organ, also called vomeronasal organ, an organ of chemoreception that is part of the olfactory system of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, although it does not occur in all tetrapod groups. It is a patch of sensory cells within the main nasal chamber that detects heavy moisture-borne odour particles. (britannica)    The human vomeronasal organ is much smaller than the snake's which allows the snake to detect odors even in wet substances such as mud.                                                                                   

Wasp Hound, noun, (Biology) A 10-inch long PVC device invented at the University of Georgia which combines hymenoptera training of wasps with the need to detect and sniff out danger of chemical weapons etc in an airport for example. The wasps are trained to detect the scent, a usual 5 minute process where the scent is introduced when they are feeding. Within the tube should they smell the same scent they will swarm together ready to feed. The swarming movement signals danger to those monitoring it. Bees have similarly been trained to detect landmines, though the bees are not confined to a PVC pipe - the pipe makes for portability and safety in an airport or closed facilities.     

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