• Question: can you smell salt water

    Asked by sophiehenry to Darren on 22 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: Darren Logan

      Darren Logan answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      Salt itself does not have an odour (neither does water), so technically you cannot smell salt water.

      However, because we associate the taste of salt with certain associated odours, our brain thinks it can smell salt – but really it is smelling other things. So for example, the “salty” smell of the sea is a combination of other odors that our brain recognizes as sea smell. Table salt also has impurities and preservatives that might have a faint odour.