What people perceive with taste, sight and hearing we have learned to measure, and with the smell until recently, this has not succeeded.
And finally, with the help of mathematical methods, researchers have been able to draw a classification of smells which, as it turned out, fit into 10 major categories: fragrant, woody-resinous, fruity (non-citrus), chemical, minty/menthol, sweet, popcorn, lemon, pungent and rotting.
“The question of how many fundamental types of odour still remains open, says a researcher from Bates College Jason Castro. But we should note a striking difference between sense of smell and his brother's taste, which, as we know, has only five fundamental qualities.”
Castro and his colleagues took as the basis of the database, known as the “Atlas of smells” Andrew Dravniece, composed in 1985. It contains a long list of 144 different odors with a set of characteristics like “sweet”, “floral”, “intensive”, and so on.
Using the method of statistics, scientists have identified “key” combination and received 10 major groups of odors.
Now, the same team of specialists trying to apply the same techniques to determine what the smell must have one or another chemical element. Anyone still not able to correctly predict what will smell the chemical composition of the substance.
Castro hopes that these developments will become interested in fragrances and flavors.