Do places have smells?

I think they do. Take for instance, a NYC subway stop after it has rained. Or the Atlantic Ocean vs. the Pacific Ocean. Or prairie grass in the summertime.

What's weird to me about smells is that (for me at least) it depends so much on our other senses. Smelling the same flower when it is -20 below and when it is 80 degrees doesn't feel the same. Or at night time certain smells seem more intense since my nose works harder.

Am I talking crazy here?

nofunsally_ (not verified) says:

A little crazy. yeah. its all science. but I don't think that you smell harder at night. I have huge "scent memories" and i was reading somehwhere that scent memory could be stronger than other senses or something

zirafa says:

Really? I thought that if one of our senses is diminished the others become heightened. I could be completely wrong.

nofunsally_ (not verified) says:

We may have different ideas of what "harder" means.

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

Your senses don't become heightened if another is diminished, you just may be concentrating on the other senses more. Blind people don't have better hearing, but they concentrate on their hearing (on average) more than sighted folk.

mikelove1 (not verified) says:

BOOM wikipedia to the rescue http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olfaction

The enterorhinal cortex projects to the amygdala and is involved in emotional and autonomic responses to odour. It also projects to the hippocampus and is involved in motivation and memory. Odour information is easily stored in long term memory and has strong connections to emotional memory. This is possibly due to the olfactory system's close anatomical ties to the limbic system and hippocampus, areas of the brain that have long been known to be involved in emotion and place memory, respectively.

zirafa says:

Thanks mike!

I didn't mean "heighten" as in your body increases or works harder when one smell is diminished, I meant more that you tend to focus on the other senses more. Of course your senses work the same all the time, it's your brain that controls what is important...(can we get a teets adrian up in this peace?)

teets adrian, confused (not verified) says:

wait, what's working harder? what's going on? *answers pager, on call*

xbeethovenx (not verified) says:

Zirafa, you meant "sense" not "smell" right?

nofunsally_ (not verified) says:

"Do places have smells"
yes. certain strong olive oil smells release the flood gates and make me think of spain.

hs (not verified) says:

places and more. you want crazy?

air has a smell. as a kid, i'd bury my face into a pillow or blanket for a bit and then take a deeep breath, mmmm... and yes, air derived in this manner still smells the same, wherevs, whenevs. the smell itself? kind of oceanic and mildly sweet, but maybe it's diff for peoples. try it!

zirafa says:

yes, "sense" not "smell".

b (not verified) says:

this morning on my bike passing an Osaka fish market i coulda sworn i smelt South Carolina...