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Surprising Senses Experiment - Smell
Spread the Smell
Materials you will need:

• Jar of coffee
• Bottle of vinegar
• Bottle of spray perfume
• An orange
• Room freshener (aerosol spray)
• Basil plant (herb)
(Choose at least two of the above)
• A fan (optional)
• Several helpers / volunteers
• Some blind folds (optional)
• A stop clock (optional)
• A note pad and pencil


Spreading the Smell !

1.)  Place your items on the table at the front of the room. If you are going to use a fan place it at the front of the room with you so the air blows towards your participants.

2.)  Have your helpers form a line at the front of the room so that the line is going away from the table. Then ask each volunteer to (excluding the first person in the line) take one step backwards to form a bit of a gap between each of them.

3.)  Ask your helpers to place their blind fold on or to keep their eyes closed.

4.)  Leave the fan switched off. Ask your helpers to raise their hand if / when they smell something different in the air.

5.)  Open the lid or spray one of your items and see how long it takes for the aroma to reach each of your helpers. You could record your results by using a stop clock to see how long it takes for each smell to reach each person. One test could be with the fan off and the other could be with the switched fan on.

If you choose to use a basil plant in your experiment it is probably best if you hold the plant and walk past each person in the line. 

As you get close to each person place one hand on the top leaves of the plant and just fan them slightly with your hand to help the aroma to move through the air. It is amazing how powerful a basil plant can smell. 

This experiment is about diffusion. What is diffusion?

Diffusion happens when particles mix with each other without anything moving them.

Smells move around a room and some end up in our nose where we have smell detectors (our sense of smell).

Gas particles move on their own in the air and therefore the smells mix and spread. With the use of a fan the smells move through the air faster.

Diffusion happens in liquids as well but it takes a bit longer for diffusion to occur in liquids.

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