Smell the Roses
“It’s 3 o’clock somewhere, ya feel?!” That might not be precisely the right saying, but it means that somewhere some poor, unfortunate soul forgot to pack enough food to make it through the work day. They think they can just tough it out until they get out of work, until it happens. They smell it. That smell. A kind of smelly smell. The smelly smell that smells….smelly.
Popcorn. They think of a million ways to bribe Barb to give them some, but they know the small talk isn't worth it. A while later, the smell is gone, the popcorn is cold, and they’re back to counting the minutes until 5.
Cold coffee, popcorn, barbecue, cookies are all pretty “meh,” but if they are warm, there could be an all out brawl to be the earliest bird for that worm. Now after you trample 3 kids and grandma to get to warm cookies, you might even ask yourself, “Why the heck does this even happen?” (Meaning food smelling better when it's warm. If you are trampling kids and grandmas, you probably need help.)
First off, how do we smell? To answer that, we gotta take a tour of the ol’ factory of the olfactory system. When Hank opens up his Philly cheesesteak, little odor molecules travel from his sandwich to the back of your nose, or the olfactory epithelium. The Hank particles get trapped in mucus, dissolve, and travel to the olfactory receptor cells that send signals down the olfactory tract to brain so you can tell him...
How does temperature factor in? When the temperature drops, odor molecules move more slowly. Likewise, when it warms up, odor molecules have the energy to rage to a nostril near you. So when you are walking past trash on a warm day, there are simply more smells to smell in the air than when it's cold. Joy abound!
In addition to colder air having fewer smells, our noses don’t smell quite so well in colder temperatures. When the air is really cold, our bodies have to work harder to warm up the air and humidify it so it doesn’t hurt our lungs. In the process, smelling takes a back seat. Also, when it is cold, those olfactory receptors bundle up by burying themselves deeper making it more difficult to identify smells.
Bottom line? You’ll be able to smell that killer barbecue much better when it’s warmed up and in the summer time, rather than just chillin’ there on a random winter day. Until next week, smell ya later!
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