OdorAn odor is the object of perception of the sense of olfaction. Odors are also called smells. The term stench, stink or reek is used to describe an unpleasant odor. The term fragrance is used by the perfume industry to describe a pleasant odor.
Odors correspond to the objective phenomenon of chemicals dissolved in air, although, as with other senses, psychological factors can play a part in perception.
Certain odors, such as perfumes and flowers, are much sought after and large prices are paid for the most elite ones. Other whole industries have developed products to remove unpleasant odors. See deodorent.
Odors that are mostly perceived as "pleasant":cooking processes may be agreeable while cooking, but not after the meal when one is full. It is also culturally dependent what smells great to you may be quite unpleasant for your neighbors.
The study of odours is an growing field, but is a complex and difficult one. The human olfactory system can detect many thousands of scents based on only very minute airborn concentrations of a chemical. The sense of smell of many animals is even better. There are hopes that smelling machines could do everything from test perfumes to help detect cancer, but as yet artificial noses are still quite inadequate.
This article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by fixing it.