Interesting and Important Smelly Facts Regarding the Differences Between Men and Women

nose-odorThis Grandma remembers a story about a fire and a dear friend who was pregnant.  She was sitting on the front porch with her husband and Grandpa and smelled smoke.  Her husband and Grandpa smelled nothing and said it must be her ‘pregnant nose,’ which was so sensitive. imagining things.  Fairly soon thereafter, smoke bellowed from the roof, and, indeed, the house was on fire.  Her nose saved the house.  He thereafter trusted her ‘pregnant nose.’

I remember being sensitive to smells when I was pregnant, but, then again, I was also sensitive to tastes.  My youngest daughter, now pregnant with her third child, talks about foods the baby wants her to eat.  Since smell affects whether some food is appetizing, smell and taste are connected.  According to a google blurb:

“It’s not uncommon for your sense of smell to change in pregnancy, and more often than not it becomes more sensitive. It could be food, drink, toiletries or even other people that become less (or more) appealing. In fact, this heightened sense of smell can actually be an early sign you’re expecting.”

This Grandma thought it was only a pregnancy thing and when not pregnant and I smelled something sooner or more than Grandpa, he said it was not possible.  Well, thanks to the New York Times reporting about recent studies, it seems we women, pregnant or not, should trust our superior noses.  “In Why Stinky Socks May Bother Women More Than Men,” by Dr. Leonard Sax, published August 30, 2017, he explains the scientific facts.  Read the entire article about the studies.

Simply, it is the “anatomy of the olfactory system – the system we use to smell – that can account for such huge differences between female and male. . . .Smell receptors in the nose send their signals via the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is the first stop in the brain for information about smell.  Women have more cells in the olfactory bulb: 16.2 million cells total in the average woman, compared with 9.2 million total cells in the average man.”

This Grandma loves his conclusion and how he applies it to our real lives.  Imagine how the father does not seem to smell the baby’s dirty diaper?  He may be telling the truth.

“Knowing that the differences in male and female noses can be so extreme, the best approach may be for each family member to agree to respect and trust the other’s report of sensory experiences. Does the milk smell sour? Does the dog stink? These could be cases where women are biologically more sensitive than men.”

“This also applies to the stereotypical teenage boy who leaves heaps of dirty laundry and sports gear in his room. If you are a woman living in the same household with such a young man, perhaps your own son, explain that good hygiene means keeping the room clean, even if he doesn’t think it smells bad. It’s not entirely his fault – maybe he just doesn’t have enough neurons sending scent messages to his brain.”

Remember also that newborns sense of smell is stronger than their eyesight.  That is why this Grandma recommends having the new mother wear the father’s t shirt and grandma’s t shirt.  When I go to sooth the newborn, I want to smell like his or her mother, as he or she will be more easily soothed.

Grandpa sent the New York Times article to his dear friends reminding them of the fire incident.

Grandpa says he will now believe me when I smell something and he does not.  Time will tell and I hope it does not require our house on fire!







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