Our sense of smell has the reputation of being the poor relative to the superior abilities of other mammals such as canines or rodents. However, recent research has shown that it does have some amazing capabilities thanks to the combinatorial power of its hundreds of different chemoreceptors. Moreover, if we're not very good at naming smells or remembering them, that may be due to cultural rather than biological reasons.
Read all about it in my latest feature which has just come out in Current Biology:
Our sense of smell at the crossroads
Current Biology Volume 25, Issue 5, pR173–R176, 2 March 2015
Sweet osmanthus (Osmanthus fragrans) is a plant appreciated for its fragrance across southern Asia, where it is also used as a food ingredient and in herbal teas. A recent study has identified 23 volatile substances in its odour. (Photo: Laitr Keiows/Wikimedia Commons.)