But the fact is that the sun doesn't have a scent, or if it does, we can't detect it. So we're left with the "odor" of outside air. And here's where the tale gets interesting: it turns out that the air smells different depending on whether it's a warm, sunny day or a chilly one.
When it's hot out, our noses don't pick up on many things because we don't need much information to know when it's time to break out the sunscreen and hat. But on a cold day, our senses are more engaged--and that means we can smell things that wouldn't otherwise be noticeable.
Here's how it works: when it's cold out, molecules in the air move faster than they do when it's not so cold. This speed difference creates a pressure difference across our nose, and this pressure difference causes us to perceive smells that aren't really there. So on a cold day, you might notice something strange about your neighbor's perfume or aftershave. It's probably just the effect of faster-moving air on your sensitive olfactory nerves, but since your brain doesn't recognize slow motion as movement, it seems like someone is walking behind you even though you can't see them.
The same thing goes for sunlight. When it's bright out, most rays are too short-wavelength for our eyes to see, so they don't cause any problems for our skin.
They circulate readily in warm air, but move slowly in cold air [source: Sohn]. In other words, a warm day will just create more scents.
The next thing you need to know about smells is that they reach our brains through our noses. Scientists aren't sure exactly how this happens, but it seems like each time we breathe in, some molecules from the air get into our nasal cavity and make their way to the olfactory bulb at the base of our brain. From there, they connect with neurons that send messages to the rest of our body. The more often we breathe in and out, the more often these messages go out. That's why people who are afraid to breathe normally because they think it might cause them to pass out don't realize how much oxygen they're wasting!
Now that you know some basic facts about smells, let's see how they relate to the environment around us.
Smells are one of the most important senses for humans. Without them, we would be completely blind to what was going on around us. Even though we can't actually see sunlight, we know it's there because we can feel it on our skin and it gives off energy that becomes heat and drives all life on Earth.
In terms of scent, it's the lack of chemicals rather than an additional element that makes it smell a specific way. "Because putting too many ingredients in them might impact the photostability of the active component, most sunscreens don't contain a masking smell," Dr. Cohen says. This means that even though you may be applying more sunscreen than usual, there won't be any extra oomph under your nose when you wake up.
There are several factors that affect the smell of sunscreen including the type of filter used and how much is applied. Some filters such as oxybenzone have been linked to causing irritation when absorbed through the skin. The more you apply, the more you're exposing yourself to these elements.
Even if you choose a low-irritant formula, you should still use caution not to apply too much product. Otherwise, you could end up with a sweaty neck due to the high concentration of antioxidants.
These will usually have exactly what they say on the bottle: no smell at all!
Nothing compares to the fragrance of July. It might smell like surf and warm beach, or like citrus and your favorite flower in bloom. The scent of the season seems to be all around us, but it's usually not noticed until the heat of the day drives up our energy levels and we need to release some of that built-up steam.
The reason we can smell things more clearly in the summer is because our sense of smell is at its strongest during this time of year. The more active our senses are, the better we can perceive what's going on around us. Smell is one of the most powerful, yet underused senses there is. We use our noses every day without even thinking about it, but only come up with certain smells when asked what we can taste or feel through our skin. For example, if someone asks you what you taste in milk then you would probably say'sweetness' or'saltiness'. If they asked you what you smell in milk then you would probably say 'yogurt' or 'butter'. Our sense of smell is so important that humans have more receptors in their noses than in their other five senses combined.
We usually think about how something smells when we get a strong impression of it.