Inhale for health

This research is a bit old (October 2013) but recently caught my eye: Research out of Japan shows that walking in the woods also may play a role in fighting cancer. Plants emit a chemical called phytoncides that protects them from rotting and insects. When people breathe it in, there is an increase in theContinue reading “Inhale for health”

Smelling in the polar vortex

Since so many parts of the US (mainly the Great Plains, mid-west, and parts of the northeast) are experiencing normal interior Alaska winter temperatures right now, I thought I’d write about what/if we smell when it gets cold. Our ability to smell things is related to temperature because temperature is a key factor in volatilityContinue reading “Smelling in the polar vortex”

The evolution of the mammalian brain starts with smelling!

A study of CT scans of two early Jurassic period mammals reveals the brain evolution had three stages, the first of which was driven by olfaction. To read the original, go here. The next stage is characterized by¬†an increase in tactile sensitivity from body hair and the third stage by skilled muscle movement using theContinue reading “The evolution of the mammalian brain starts with smelling!”

Making scents of tea olives

The tea olive Osmanthus fragrans is a wonderfully aromatic plant, particularly when its scent is captured by the evening breeze. I have been stopped in my tracks upon detecting this olfactory ambrosia in the air. What amazes me is that some people cannot smell it at all or only can detect the slightest ghost ofContinue reading “Making scents of tea olives”