Explore with your senses: Smell

Have you caught the scent of adventure? That’s ‘cause we’re exploring with our senses! We’ve already looked into the fun ways we can play with and test our senses of sight and sound. If you missed them, check them out here!

This week, we’re continuing our journey through the senses with the super sense of smell. Our sense of smell is amazing, and we pick up so many scents on a daily basis – whether it’s waking up to smell the coffee in the morning, absorbing all the scents of the outdoors on our daily walks or, of course, sniffing down the trail of the crafty crook on a Treasure Trail. We use our hearing all the time when we’re awake… and it even helps us to taste too!

Smell - Treasure Trails

But there’s more to our sense of smell than we realise, and more ways we can play with it and test it out for fun! Check out our fun facts and sensory activities that will help you explore with your sense of smell.

Sensational facts about smell

There are lots of cool things you may not know about your nose and sense of smell.

  • In 2014, scientists discovered that the human nose can detect one trillion scents!
  • Our sense of smell is closely linked to our memory. We accurately remember scents more than we can remember things we’ve seen, heard, tasted or touched. Also, smells can actually trigger our memory; that’s why when you smell ice cream, you may suddenly remember a trip to the seaside as a child. 
  • Our sense of smell is unique. Everyone has their own unique scent – almost like a fingerprint – with the only exception being identical siblings. We also smell things differently, so something that smells lovely to you may smell awful to the next person. 
Smell - amazing fact
  •  Our sense of smell tends to decrease as we get older, peaking at our late teens. However, there are times where it is boosted – during the spring and summer when there is more moisture in the air, after exercise, during pregnancy etc. 
  • Some people have no sense of smell at all, which is called anosmia. It could be worse, though. If you have cacosmia, you only smell really nasty scents – even freshly baked bread or a bunch of flowers will smell horrid. 

But what about sound in the rest of nature?

Animals rely on their sense of smell for a lot more than we do, including tracking predators and prey.

  • Animals have their own favourite smells. Cats love the smell of valerian and, of course, catnip. Lion’s have their own version of catnip, too – peppermint and lavender! 
  • It’s believed that bears have the best sense of smell of any land animal. Black bears can smell food that’s 18-20 miles away, while polar bears can smell a seal through three feet of ice and have been known to detect their prey when it’s over 40 miles away! 

Explore with scents at home

There are tonnes of ways that you can explore with your sense of smell at home, whether indoors or in your garden. Try these activities out!

Activity #01: Get a whiff of this!

Spring is springing, sensory explorers! What better time to stop and smell the roses… Well, daffodils at any rate!

Take a minute, whether in your garden or on a daily walk to a park or green space, to take a step back and take in all the natural scents of the great outdoors. Once the minute is over, try to figure out which smells came from where and point them out. How many distinct scents did you notice? Were they subtle or strong? Did any smell sweet?

If you’ve got a sensory garden in your local area, try heading there instead! They’re designed to stimulate several senses and the same time, not just your sense of smell.

Activity #02: Something smells suspicious…

Now that you’ve fine-tuned your noses, it’s time for a game! Gather your household and have each member secretly pick out three things in your house that emit an odour.

Then, you’ll need to take it in turns to test each other’s sense of smell. Have everyone else in the household be blindfolded, then present the three smells one at a time to see whether they can figure out what they are!

CAUTION: You’ll need to have an adult sensory explorer check that all of the scents are suitable for smelling before you hold the blindfold tests. Please read any warnings on packages and ignore chemical-based scents.

Activity #03: Your creativity nose no bounds!

Let’s get crafty! Did you know you can make your own sweet-smelling scents right at home? Play around with some pretty scent combinations and make your own potpourri! You can use flowers, fruits or spices to create bowls full of creative scents to make your home even more welcoming. Take a peek at these ideas and instructions.

If potpourri isn’t quite your thing, why not try making your own essential oils? Pick out your favourite smelling plants – lavender, rosemary and mint work really well – then follow these instructions to create your bespoke essential oil.

smelling nature

What a puzzling sense…smell!

For smell, your puzzle requires you to brave the stench as you navigate our fishy maze! So, nose pegs at the ready, explorers… take a deep breath, and off you go! We hope to see you on the other side.

COMPETITION NOW CLOSED, but you can still solve the puzzle just for fun! Find the answers below…

TT Smell puzzle

Puzzle answer

Make ’em laugh!

Explorer Joke Time

Sniff out the evidence like a truly scent-sational sleuth on a Treasure Trail!

Now that you’ve challenged yourselves to some fun sensory activities, it’s time to test your sense of smell on your local Trail adventure! Use it to pick up the scent the culprit may have left behind, sniff out any potential booby traps and get a whiff off anything amiss on your top-secret mission. 

But, while you’re out and about, try to stay conscious of everything your nose is picking up. Enjoy the aroma of more stunning flowers in the green spaces or the salty sea air on a coastal route; try not to get distracted when solving a Clue outside a bakery… wait, what’s that scent? The sweet smell of victory, of course – you cracked the case!



Get exploring with Treasure Trails

Keep your nose to the ground for more fun with your senses!

We’ll be continuing to explore with our senses next week when we’ll be looking into touch. Keep your eyes on your inbox, or follow this link to discover what’s coming up soon!

Competition T&Cs – Senses Puzzles

  • There are five prizes of a Treasure Trails Voucher available, one for each of five puzzles: Sight, Sound, Smell, Touch and Taste.
  • Open to UK residents, excluding employees and associates of Treasure Trails.
  • Entry is via the submission form on each of the five senses pages only.
  • All valid entries will be looked at and winning entries chosen by the team at Treasure Trails.
  • Closing date for entries is 11:59pm on Monday 29th March 2021
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • One entry per household, per puzzle is permitted.
  • The winners will be notified via email within 5 days of the closing date.
  • The winners names will be available on request and may be published on our website.
  • The prize is non-transferable, and no monetary alternative will be offered.
  • No purchase necessary.
  • The promoter is Armstrong Best Ltd t/a Treasure Trails, Truro.
  • By participating in this competition, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook or Instagram.

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