Celebrating 18 Years on the Web
TODAY IN SCIENCE HISTORY ®
Find science on or your birthday

Today in Science History - Quickie Quiz
Who said: “Nature does nothing in vain when less will serve; for Nature is pleased with simplicity and affects not the pomp of superfluous causes.”
more quiz questions >>
Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index S > Category: Smell

Smell Quotes (16 quotes)

A celebrated medical lecturer began one day “Fumigations, gentlemen, are of essential importance. They make such an abominable smell that they compel you to open the window.” I wish all the disinfecting fluids invented made such an “abominable smell” that they forced you to admit fresh air. That would be a useful invention.
In Notes on Nursing: What It Is and What It Is Not (1860), 28.
Science quotes on:  |  Abominable (4)  |  Admit (22)  |  Compel (14)  |  Disinfect (2)  |  Essential (87)  |  Fluid (18)  |  Fumigation (2)  |  Invention (283)  |  Lecturer (7)  |  Open (38)  |  Useful (66)  |  Window (25)  |  Wish (62)

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Coffin (4)  |  Cynic (4)  |  Flower (65)

All fresh meat is eaten in a state of decay. The process may not have proceeded so far that the dull human nose can discover it, but a carrion bird or a carrion fly can smell it from afar.
In New Dietetics: What to Eat and How (1921), 384.
Science quotes on:  |  Afar (5)  |  Bird (96)  |  Carrion (4)  |  Decay (31)  |  Discover (115)  |  Dull (26)  |  Fly (65)  |  Fresh (21)  |  Human (445)  |  Meat (11)  |  Nose (9)

As the sense of smell is so intimately connected with that of taste, it is not surprising that an excessively bad odour should excite wretching or vomitting in some persons.
The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals
Science quotes on:  |  Taste (35)

I happen to be a kind of monkey. I have a monkeylike curiosity that makes me want to feel, smell, and taste things which arouse my curiosity, then to take them apart. It was born in me. Not everybody is like that, but a scientific researchist should be. Any fool can show me an experiment is useless. I want a man who will try it and get something out of it.
Quoted in Guy Suits, ''Willis Rodney Whitney', National Academy of Sciences, Biographical Memoirs (1960), 357.
Science quotes on:  |  Apart (6)  |  Arousal (2)  |  Birth (81)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Experiment (543)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Fool (70)  |  Monkey (37)  |  Research (517)  |  Scientific (169)  |  Something (9)  |  Take (8)  |  Taste (35)  |  Try (103)  |  Uselessness (21)

No video, no photographs, no verbal descriptions, no lectures can provide the enchantment that a few minutes out-of-doors can: watch a spider construct a web; observe a caterpillar systematically ravaging the edge of a leaf; close your eyes, cup your hands behind your ears, and listen to aspen leaves rustle or a stream muse about its pools and eddies. Nothing can replace plucking a cluster of pine needles and rolling them in your fingers to feel how they’re put together, or discovering that “sedges have edges and grasses are round,” The firsthand, right-and-left-brain experience of being in the out-of-doors involves all the senses including some we’ve forgotten about, like smelling water a mile away. No teacher, no student, can help but sense and absorb the larger ecological rhythms at work here, and the intertwining of intricate, varied and complex strands that characterize a rich, healthy natural world.
Into the Field: A Guide to Locally Focused Teaching
Science quotes on:  |  Absorb (11)  |  Behind (25)  |  Caterpillar (3)  |  Characterize (9)  |  Close (40)  |  Cluster (10)  |  Complex (78)  |  Construct (25)  |  Cup (5)  |  Description (72)  |  Discover (115)  |  Ear (21)  |  Ecological (4)  |  Eddy (3)  |  Edge (16)  |  Enchantment (8)  |  Experience (268)  |  Eye (159)  |  Feel (93)  |  Finger (38)  |  Firsthand (2)  |  Forget (40)  |  Grass (30)  |  Hand (103)  |  Healthy (17)  |  Help (68)  |  Include (27)  |  Intricate (14)  |  Involve (27)  |  Large (82)  |  Leaf (43)  |  Leave (63)  |  Lecture (54)  |  Listen (26)  |  Mile (24)  |  Minute (25)  |  Muse (5)  |  Natural World (21)  |  Needle (5)  |  Nothing (267)  |  Observe (48)  |  Photograph (17)  |  Pine (9)  |  Pluck (4)  |  Pool (10)  |  Provide (48)  |  Ravage (6)  |  Replace (16)  |  Rhythm (12)  |  Rich (48)  |  Roll (7)  |  Round (15)  |  Sense (240)  |  Spider (8)  |  Strand (5)  |  Stream (27)  |  Student (131)  |  Systematically (6)  |  Teacher (90)  |  Together (48)  |  Vary (14)  |  Verbal (5)  |  Video (2)  |  Watch (39)  |  Water (244)  |  Web (11)  |  Weve (5)  |  Work (457)

Scratch an intellectual, and you find a would-be aristocrat who loathes the sight, the sound and the smell of common folk.
In 'The Young and the New York Times Magazine (22 Nov 1970), 120.
Science quotes on:  |  Aristocrat (2)  |  Common (92)  |  Find (248)  |  Folk (6)  |  Intellectual (79)  |  Loathe (4)  |  Scratch (6)  |  Sight (25)  |  Sound (59)  |  Would-Be (2)

The Qualities then that are in Bodies rightly considered, are of Three sorts.
First, the Bulk, Figure, Number, Situation, and Motion, or Rest of their solid Parts; those are in them, whether we perceive them or no; and when they are of that size, that we can discover them, we have by these an Idea of the thing, as it is in it self, as is plain in artificial things. These I call primary Qualities.
Secondly, The Power that is in any Body, by Reason of its insensible primary Qualities, to operate after a peculiar manner on any of our Senses, and thereby produce in us the different Ideas of several Colours, Sounds, Smells, Tastes, etc. These are usually called sensible Qualities.
Thirdly, The Power that is in any Body, by Reason of the particular Constitution of its primary Qualities, to make such a change in the Bulk, Figure, Texture, and Motion of another Body, as to make it operate on our Senses, differently from what it did before. Thus the Sun has a Power to make Wax white, and Fire to make Lead fluid. These are usually called Powers.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690). Edited by Peter Nidditch (1975), Book 2, Chapter 8, Section 23, 140-1.
Science quotes on:  |  Bulk (5)  |  Color (78)  |  Figure (32)  |  Fire (117)  |  Idea (440)  |  Lead (101)  |  Motion (127)  |  Number (179)  |  Quality (65)  |  Rest (64)  |  Sense (240)  |  Situation (41)  |  Sound (59)  |  Sun (211)  |  Taste (35)  |  Wax (8)

The act of smelling something, anything, is remarkably like the act of thinking. Immediately at the moment of perception, you can feel the mind going to work, sending the odor around from place to place, setting off complex repertories through the brain, polling one center after another for signs of recognition, for old memories and old connection.
In Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony (1984), 42.
Science quotes on:  |  Sense (240)

The first drizzling shower is born...
[Then] the flood comes down,
Threatening with deluge this devoted town. ...
Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow,
And bear their trophies with them as they go:
Filth of all hues and odors seem to tell
What street they sailed from, by their sight and smell.
They, as each torrent drives with rapid force,
From Smithfield or St. Pulchre’s shape their course,
And in huge confluence joined at Snow Hill ridge,
Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn Bridge.
Sweepings from butchers’ stalls, dung, guts, and blood.
Drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud,
Dead cats, and turnip tops, come tumbling down the flood.
Poem, 'A Description of a City Shower', first published in the Tatler, No. 238 (17 Oct 1710). Reprinted in Pope and Swift's Miscellanies in Prose and Verse (1711, 1721), 225-227. Swift wrote at the time in London that the street surface open gutters (kennels) were the primary means for handling stormwater flows and disposing of every kind of human and animal waste. “Devoted” means overwhelmed. Smithfield was a market with butchers' shops and cattle and sheep pens. St. Sepulchre refers to a church in Holborn. The Holborn Conduit was taken down in 1746. Below Holborn Bridge ran the Fleet Ditch (a stagnant remnant of the former Fleet River after its water supply had been diverted). It was joined by a stream called Snow Hill. Notes printed with the poem collected in Jay Parini, The Wadsworth Anthology Of Poetry (2005), 723-724.
Science quotes on:  |  Blood (95)  |  Butcher (6)  |  Cat (31)  |  Conduit (2)  |  Deluge (7)  |  Dung (4)  |  Filth (4)  |  Flood (26)  |  Guts (2)  |  Mud (14)  |  Puppy (2)  |  Sewer (4)  |  Shower (4)  |  Stall (3)  |  Sweeping (2)  |  Torrent (3)  |  Turnip (3)  |  Water (244)

The phosphorous smell which is developed when electricity (to speak the profane language) is passing from the points of a conductor into air, or when lightning happens to fall upon some terrestrial object, or when water is electrolysed, has been engaging my attention the last couple of years, and induced me to make many attempts at clearing up that mysterious phenomenon. Though baffled for a long time, at last, I think, I have succeeded so far as to have got the clue which will lead to the discovery of the true cause of the smell in question.
[His first reference to investigating ozone, for which he is remembered.]
Letter to Michael Faraday (4 Apr 1840), The Letters of Faraday and Schoenbein, 1836-1862 (1899), 73. This letter was communicated to the Royal Society on 7 May, and an abstract published in the Philosophical Magazine.
Science quotes on:  |  Attention (76)  |  Baffle (4)  |  Cause (231)  |  Clue (14)  |  Conductor (8)  |  Discovery (591)  |  Electricity (121)  |  Electrolysis (7)  |  Investigate (49)  |  Language (155)  |  Lightning (28)  |  Mystery (125)  |  Ozone (3)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Phosphorus (15)  |  Point (72)  |  Profane (6)  |  Research (517)  |  Success (202)

The true man of science will know nature better by his finer organization; he will smell, taste, see, hear, feel, better than other men. His will be a deeper and finer experience.
In 'Natural history of Massachusetts', The Dial: A Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion (Jul 1842), 3, No. 1, 40.
Science quotes on:  |  Deep (81)  |  Direct (44)  |  Experience (268)  |  Feel (93)  |  Hear (33)  |  Intercourse (4)  |  Know (321)  |  Learn (160)  |  Man Of Science (27)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Organization (79)  |  See (197)  |  Taste (35)  |  True (120)

The world is full of signals that we don’t perceive. Tiny creatures live in a different world of unfamiliar forces. Many animals of our scale greatly exceed our range of perception for sensations familiar to us ... What an imperceptive lot we are. Surrounded by so much, so fascinating and so real, that we do not see (hear, smell, touch, taste) in nature, yet so gullible and so seduced by claims for novel power that we mistake the tricks of mediocre magicians for glimpses of a psychic world beyond our ken. The paranormal may be a fantasy; it is certainly a haven for charlatans. But ‘parahuman’ powers of perception lie all about us in birds, bees, and bacteria.
…...
Science quotes on:  |  Animal (309)  |  Bacterium (5)  |  Bee (21)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Bird (96)  |  Certainly (18)  |  Charlatan (6)  |  Claim (52)  |  Creature (127)  |  Different (110)  |  Exceed (7)  |  Familiar (22)  |  Fantasy (7)  |  Fascinating (17)  |  Force (194)  |  Full (38)  |  Glimpse (9)  |  Greatly (7)  |  Hear (33)  |  Lie (80)  |  Live (186)  |  Lot (23)  |  Magician (12)  |  Mediocre (6)  |  Mistake (107)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Novel (16)  |  Paranormal (3)  |  Perceive (18)  |  Perception (53)  |  Power (273)  |  Psychic (5)  |  Range (38)  |  Real (95)  |  Scale (49)  |  Seduce (2)  |  See (197)  |  Sensation (22)  |  Signal (14)  |  Surround (17)  |  Taste (35)  |  Tiny (25)  |  Touch (48)  |  Trick (19)  |  Unfamiliar (3)  |  World (667)

Through seven figures come sensations for a man; there is hearing for sounds, sight for the visible, nostril for smell, tongue for pleasant or unpleasant tastes, mouth for speech, body for touch, passages outwards and inwards for hot or cold breath. Through these come knowledge or lack of it.
Regimen, in Hippocrates, trans. W. H. S. Jones (1931), Vol. 4, 261.
Science quotes on:  |  Body (193)  |  Breath (24)  |  Hearing (27)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Mouth (16)  |  Nostril (4)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sight (25)  |  Speech (40)  |  Taste (35)  |  Tongue (16)  |  Touch (48)

[Alchemists] finde out men so covetous of so much happiness, whom they easily perswade that they shall finde greater Riches in Hydargyrie [mercury], than Nature affords in Gold. Such, whom although they have twice or thrice already been deluded, yet they have still a new Device wherewith to deceive um again; there being no greater Madness…. So that the smells of Coles, Sulphur, Dung, Poyson, and Piss, are to them a greater pleasure than the taste of Honey; till their Farms, Goods, and Patrimonies being wasted, and converted into Ashes and Smoak, when they expect the rewards of their Labours, births of Gold, Youth, and Immortality, after all their Time and Expences; at length, old, ragged, famisht, with the continual use of Quicksilver [mercury] paralytick, onely rich in misery, … a laughing-stock to the people: … compell’d to live in the lowest degree of poverty, and … at length compell’d thereto by Penury, they fall to Ill Courses, as Counterfeiting of Money.
In The Vanity of the Arts and Sciences (1530), translation (1676), 313.
Science quotes on:  |  Alchemist (14)  |  Coal (41)  |  Counterfeit (2)  |  Covetous (2)  |  Deceive (8)  |  Delude (2)  |  Dung (4)  |  Gold (55)  |  Happiness (82)  |  Honey (5)  |  Madness (26)  |  Mercury (39)  |  Misery (19)  |  Money (125)  |  Penury (2)  |  Persuade (10)  |  Pleasure (98)  |  Poison (32)  |  Poverty (29)  |  Quicksilver (3)  |  Smoke (16)  |  Sulphur (15)

[While in school, before university,] I, like almost all chemists I know, was also attracted by the smells and bangs that endowed chemistry with that slight but charismatic element of danger which is now banned from the classroom. I agree with those of us who feel that the wimpish chemistry training that schools are now forced to adopt is one possible reason that chemistry is no longer attracting as many talented and adventurous youngsters as it once did. If the decline in hands-on science education is not redressed, I doubt that we shall survive the 21st century.
Nobel laureate autobiography in Les Prix Nobel/Nobel Lectures 1996 (1997), 191.
Science quotes on:  |  21st Century (4)  |  Adoption (6)  |  Adventure (36)  |  Agreement (29)  |  Attraction (32)  |  Ban (9)  |  Bang (4)  |  Chemist (79)  |  Chemistry (239)  |  Classroom (5)  |  Danger (62)  |  Decline (11)  |  Doubt (121)  |  Element (129)  |  Feeling (79)  |  Force (194)  |  Reason (330)  |  Science Education (11)  |  Survive (28)  |  Talent (49)  |  Training (39)  |  Youngster (2)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
Quotations by:Albert EinsteinIsaac NewtonLord KelvinCharles DarwinSrinivasa RamanujanCarl SaganFlorence NightingaleThomas EdisonAristotleMarie CurieBenjamin FranklinWinston ChurchillGalileo GalileiSigmund FreudRobert BunsenLouis PasteurTheodore RooseveltAbraham LincolnRonald ReaganLeonardo DaVinciMichio KakuKarl PopperJohann GoetheRobert OppenheimerCharles Kettering  ... (more people)

Quotations about:Atomic  BombBiologyChemistryDeforestationEngineeringAnatomyAstronomyBacteriaBiochemistryBotanyConservationDinosaurEnvironmentFractalGeneticsGeologyHistory of ScienceInventionJupiterKnowledgeLoveMathematicsMeasurementMedicineNatural ResourceOrganic ChemistryPhysicsPhysicianQuantum TheoryResearchScience and ArtTeacherTechnologyUniverseVolcanoVirusWind PowerWomen ScientistsX-RaysYouthZoology  ... (more topics)
Sitewide search within all Today In Science History pages:
Visit our Science and Scientist Quotations index for more Science Quotes from archaeologists, biologists, chemists, geologists, inventors and inventions, mathematicians, physicists, pioneers in medicine, science events and technology.

Names index: | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Categories index: | 1 | 2 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

- 100 -
Sophie Germain
Gertrude Elion
Ernest Rutherford
James Chadwick
Marcel Proust
William Harvey
Johann Goethe
John Keynes
Carl Gauss
Paul Feyerabend
- 90 -
Antoine Lavoisier
Lise Meitner
Charles Babbage
Ibn Khaldun
Euclid
Ralph Emerson
Robert Bunsen
Frederick Banting
Andre Ampere
Winston Churchill
- 80 -
John Locke
Bronislaw Malinowski
Bible
Thomas Huxley
Alessandro Volta
Erwin Schrodinger
Wilhelm Roentgen
Louis Pasteur
Bertrand Russell
Jean Lamarck
- 70 -
Samuel Morse
John Wheeler
Nicolaus Copernicus
Robert Fulton
Pierre Laplace
Humphry Davy
Thomas Edison
Lord Kelvin
Theodore Roosevelt
Carolus Linnaeus
- 60 -
Francis Galton
Linus Pauling
Immanuel Kant
Martin Fischer
Robert Boyle
Karl Popper
Paul Dirac
Avicenna
James Watson
William Shakespeare
- 50 -
Stephen Hawking
Niels Bohr
Nikola Tesla
Rachel Carson
Max Planck
Henry Adams
Richard Dawkins
Werner Heisenberg
Alfred Wegener
John Dalton
- 40 -
Pierre Fermat
Edward Wilson
Johannes Kepler
Gustave Eiffel
Giordano Bruno
JJ Thomson
Thomas Kuhn
Leonardo DaVinci
Archimedes
David Hume
- 30 -
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Richard Feynman
James Hutton
Alexander Fleming
Emile Durkheim
Benjamin Franklin
Robert Oppenheimer
Robert Hooke
Charles Kettering
- 20 -
Carl Sagan
James Maxwell
Marie Curie
Rene Descartes
Francis Crick
Hippocrates
Michael Faraday
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Francis Bacon
Galileo Galilei
- 10 -
Aristotle
John Watson
Rosalind Franklin
Michio Kaku
Isaac Asimov
Charles Darwin
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Florence Nightingale
Isaac Newton



who invites your feedback
Thank you for sharing.
Today in Science History
Sign up for Newsletter
with quiz, quotes and more.