Holiday Season and Scent.

Approaching the holiday season...

Well, little by little it is starting to feel like the holiday season. For one, there are clemmies at the grocery store! I also got my winter final exam schedule, so now I know when I will officially be able to kick-back and enjoy the holidays (which unfortunately isn't until December 22nd! That's crazy late, I know). I will write 10 final exams (Anatomy, Botanical Medicine, Homeopathy, Physiology, Immunology, Naturopathic History and Philosophy, Biochemistry, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Health Psychology, and Principles of Research).


Scent is as interesting sense as smells travel through the nose to the olfactory bulb, which is located near the brain. The olfactory bulb is in really close contact with the limbic system, a portion of the brain linked to emotion and memory. This is why certain smells often trigger certain emotions or memories. The smell of citrus makes me think of the holidays (yeah clemmies!). Scent can't be localized, meaning that when you smell a particular scent, you can't immediately identify where it is coming from unless you go snooping with your nose directly. On the other hand, sound is localized, meaning you can tell once you hear something which direction it came from. Examples: You smell something stinky, but is it coming from your feet, armpit, or from something spilled on the floor? You hear a baby cry and your head turns immediately in the direction of the cry (you know it is coming from the baby's crib, which is behind you and to the left). Taste is actually mostly smell and not the taste buds. There are direct passages to the olfactory bulb from the mouth, so when you think you are tasting the clementine, you are mostly smelling the citrus molecules traveling up to the scent region from the mouth. You are essentially chewing and absorbing the aromas of the citrus fruit in addition to tasting them with your taste buds.

Speaking of taste, do you know the five tastes? Sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and... umami! Umami is the taste "savory". It is the taste of the amino acid glutamate, therefore protein-rich foods like meat and cheese have umami tastes. Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is umami and is a common "savory" food additive.

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