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Can People Tell Artificial Scents From Real Ones?

Science Fair
by

Darnelle Tarrant

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of Can People Tell Artificial Scents From Real Ones?

Can People Tell Artificial Scents
From Real Ones? Darnelle Tarrant
6th grade
Ms.Williams

I picked this topic because I wanted to know whether people could tell the difference between artificial odors and natural ones. Purpose The purpose of this experiment is to determine if the human nose can tell the difference between artificial scents and natural ones. I want to learn if people can correctly identify a natural scent from a man-made copy. Is it actually possible to tell the difference? Does the age or gender of the subject make a difference in the outcome of the experiment. This information is helpful to scientists learning how the human sense of smell operates. Hypothesis I think that most of the people tested will be able to tell the difference between real and artificial odors. If more women correctly identify the natural scents, then I’ll know gender can affect our sense of smell. If more older people rather then younger people correctly identify the difference in scents, then I will know if age is a factor. I learned that olfactory perception is the sense of smell and humans can identify approximately ten thousand scents. So if my subjects are able to tell the difference, then I know it was because of olfactory perception. Research www.wikipedia.org/wiki/olfaction
I learned olfaction is the sense of smell. All humans have sensory cells in the nasal cavity. The olfactory system detects airborne chemicals and these chemicals activate the olfactory system in order to identify the scent. Research www.wikipedia.org/wiki/aroma_compound

I learned that fragrance or odorant is also known as a aroma compound. Each scent has a different chemical structure. The olfactory system is located in the upper part of the nose and identifies the scent and then sends the message to the brain. Research www.leffingwell.com/olfaction.htm

I learned from this reference that sense of smell helps humans and animals. It is a way for the environment around us to communicate. Our olfactory sense can distinguish many different chemical compounds or odors. Research www.wikipedia.org/wiki/odor

Humans can identify an odor or smell at a very low concentration. An odor is caused by a chemical compound. Humans are able to distinguish around 10,000 different scents. Research www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325151639.htm

Olfaction is different from all other systems in the body. The olfactory bulb is the first stop an odor makes on the way to the brain. The exact path odors take and the reactions to us they cause are still not fully understood by scientists. Experimental Design
The dependent variables in this experiment will be the five different scents. Each scent has a natural and an artificial. The independent variable will be whether the test subjects can identify the difference of the real or natural odors. The constants will be the time allowed for each scent to be smelled and the same testing area for each subject. Materials Blindfold
Ten people of differing ages and genders as test subjects
Natural orange fruit and orange fragrance Airwick air freshener.
100% lemon juice and lemon fresh Pine Sol
Pine tree branch and pine branch scented candle
Natural cinnamon sticks and cinnamon spice scented candle.
Pure vanilla extract and vanilla scented candle.
Timer
Paper and pen Procedure Collect all materials.
Blindfold test subject
Put a natural scent under subject’s nose for 20 seconds. Then put it’s artificial odor under the subject’s nose for 20 seconds.
Have subject try to determine which one is the natural or the artificial one.
Record data.
Repeat steps 3-5 for all five scents.
Make data analysis and record results. Data Analysis Results My experiment proved that most of the time people could tell the difference between artificial and natural smells. Out of the ten subjects tested, only four incorrect identifications were made. Age or gender did not seem to have any affect, but instead, two boys and two girls got one sample incorrect. The results of this experiment proves that people can indentify the difference between artificial smells and natural smells. Conclusion In conclusion, this experiment was a success. In my hypothesis, I stated that most of the test subjects would guess correctly, and I was correct! Six people were 100% correct in this experiment, meaning that my hypothesis was right. A few times people would state that it’s a “tough one”, but eventually they chose the right answer. In the end, four of the test subjects stated “I should’ve got that one!” Those four only made one incorrect guess each; while getting all the other samples correct. Conclusion The background research was very important in this experiment because it talked about olfaction, and the nose system. So, it told me that the human nose was intelligent, and could recognize many scents. Olfaction is different from all other systems in the body. Humans can identify any odor or scent at a very low concentration. Humans can distinguish ten thousand different scents and odors. Conclusion There were no errors in this experiment. The procedure ran smoothly. I blindfolded the subjects and put the five different scents under their noses. Then I let them determine which sample was the the real or fake odor and wrote down whether the test subject was correct or incorrect. Conclusion I can’t think of any way to improve this experiment. It was effective in finding results. It might be fun to branch out this experiment to include tasting. Could people taste the difference between artificial and natural flavors? Conclusion I wanted to do this science experiment to determine whether people could find the difference between artificial and natural scents. Based on the research material, I learned that we have an olfactory system in the upper part of our nose to indentify odors. My hypothesis was that most of the people tested would correctly identify the natural scents. My hypothesis was proven correct. People really can distinguish artificial and natural odors. Bibliography www.leffingwell.com/olfaction.htm

www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110325151639.htm

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aroma_compound

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/odor

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/olfaction
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