Can sneezing release 'stored' smells?

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Darrin Mendrick

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Can sneezing release 'stored' smells?
« on: 20/05/2009 01:30:02 »
Darrin Mendrick asked the Naked Scientists:
The other day, I was sitting with my son and I sneezed.  Immediately after the sneeze, I smelled flowers.  This was very peculiar and I mentioned to my son that I smelled flowers.  To our amazement, he said he could smell flowers also!!  Prior to this, I had not been smelling flowers, I had not been to a flower shop, nor were there flowers in the house.  

How could this happen?  How could my nose "save" a flower smell and then distribute it to my family members?

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What do you think?


Offline JnA

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Can sneezing release 'stored' smells?
« Reply #1 on: 20/05/2009 03:15:24 »
My first instinct is that the sneeze dislodged the irritant enough to allow you to smell 'better' and therefore pick a up scent that you could not pre sneeze.

I guess it's possible that there was some pollen inside both of your noses that created the smell.

One last thought... perhaps there was something sweet smelling (food) left in the back of your throat and the sneeze dislodged it enough for a smell to transmit.