Scientists don’t understand exactly how we identify the many odors we smell every day. Biologists have found evidence that while we may not be consciously aware of it, people can sniff out the chemical signals of sexual attraction. Aromatherapists say that they can create a bubble bath that improves memory, a kitchen cleaner that wards off nausea and gives us energy, and a scented handkerchief that can calm a claustrophobic patient who has to have an MRI.
BBC News reports that a team of US scientists has discovered a whole new class of receptors lining the inside of the nose that are used by mice (which are more like us that we may want to admit) to detect pheromones, the sex hormone scents that are released by their mates. These are also found in humans.