The Smell of Clean

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Do you smell that? If not, don’t worry. Like many things, smell has a genetic component, and not all smells are detectable by everybody. At Scents and Sensibilities, the audience was given cards that contained a variety of encapsulated scents. One such scent, a synthetic musk called galaxolide, illuminates how we perceive smells genetically as well as culturally.

Read more about galaxolide: Can You Smell That?

More videos from this series: Scents and Sensibilities

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Date: Saturday June 4, 2011
Time: 03:00 PM-04:30 PM
Venue: Tishman Auditorium at The New School
Moderator: Juju Chang
Participants: Leslie Vosshall, Sissel Tolaas, Consuelo De Moraes, Avery Gilbert

What does fear smell like? Love? Can we use scent to control behavior? Do humans really sense pheromones? What if you could diagnose diseases just by smelling them? And exactly how does our brain convert floating organic molecules into chemical signals that our brain processes as odor? Over hundreds of thousands of years, our ancestors learned to encode specific scents with information that saved their lives. Many species still depend heavily on smell for their daily survival. Described as "the most direct pathway to the brain," olfaction...[Read more]