Lesson 2


Okay, gents – I want you to put on your lab coats and grab a clipboard – it’s time to get technical! Watch my video then read this supporting text to cement your knowledge. My advice would be to read this text a couple of times over – it’s scientific information that’s vital to your understanding of what Mission Fragrance is all about.

Quick Facts

  • Your sense of smell is the first sense you use when you’re born. 
  • 1 in every 50 of your genes is dedicated to making your sense of smell function.
  • Most adults can easily distinguish between 10,000 different smells.

How Does Your Sense of Smell Work?

Note, the diagram below it is not anatomically correct. I’ve simplified it to help illustrate the points underneath:

  • The sensation of smell begins when you sniff odor molecules from the air into your nostrils. 
  • At the back of your nose is a small patch of tissue called the olfactory epithelium which is covered in a layer of mucus.
  • The olfactory epithelium has a layer of specialized sensory cells called olfactory receptor neurons (aka “the taste buds of your nose” – you have about 40 million of them). 
  • When odor molecules hit the olfactory epithelium, they dissolve and bind to the olfactory receptor neurons.
  • The olfactory receptor neurons fire and send signals through the olfactory tract up to your brain
  • Different odors can trigger different neurons in your brain. For example, Odor A might trigger olfactory receptors neurons 1, 2, and 7 and Odor B might trigger olfactory receptor neurons 5, 8, 25,000, and 12,345,979.
  • All of these different combinations of triggered neurons allow you to detect a huge range of different smells.
  • What’s more, Olfactory receptor neurons are the only neurons in the body that get replaced regularly (every 4-8 weeks) so they’re always ready for action. 
  • Once the combination of olfactory receptor neurons fire in a bundle through the olfactory tract, they head straight to the Amygdala, Thalamus, and Neocortex – the parts of your brain responsible for learning, memory, and emotion.

I get it, gents. You probably read that through once and thought “Hold on…what?!”

Remember what I said right at the start of this lesson! It’s scientific stuff but it’s all really important for your understanding of what Mission Fragrance is all about. So read it a couple of times over, re-watch my video and you’ll be an expert in scent science in no time.

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