Smell Detective

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In this activity about olfaction (8th activity on the page), learners smell 10 different items with different odors. Then they try to identify the smells when they are mixed together. Can you correctly identify the two, three, or four smells together? This activity page includes a link to background information about the sense of smell.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Smells (like spices, fruit juices, flowers)
  • Containers for items
  • Pen and paper for list


  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
    • Human Senses and Perception
      • Smell
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • smell

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Chudler, Ph.D., Eric H.


  • All rights reserved, Eric H. Chudler, 2009