Science Experiment: Are odourprints like fingerprints?

Light Beakers

Medical Laboratory and Biomedical Science

It should come as no surprise that we, here at The Candle Library, are huge science fans.  We love researching, testing and pushing the boundaries of our senses to find and share the perfect scent with you all. As this week is National Science Week our attention of course is focused on the ability of our shnoz (AKA nose). 

Did you know that similar to fingerprints each person has a unique scent called an odourtype/odourprint.  Inside your nose you have olfactory receptor neurons which are responsible for receiving and recognising smells.  

To celebrate National Science week we have decided to leave you with a simple science experiment.  Your research questions are:

  • Does each person have a unique smell?
  • Can you differentiate between your family members' unique smell?

1.  Select 3 people from within your family and 1 person who are not related to.  

2. Collect a recently worn shirt from each of your subjects and label them for identification. Eg. Mum's shirt = A, Dad's Shirt=B etc. 

3.  Blindfold a subject and have them sit down.  At random, raise each of the shirts under the subject's nose and ask them to smell the shirt and guess who own's them without using anything other than their sense of smell.  

4.  Record the results. 

5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 with every family member.  


Difficulty: Easy 

Cost: Free 

Time: 10 mins


Let us know what your results were by leaving a comment below!

Genius Periodic Table

State of the Wall - Etsy