I've been puzzling for months over various odd smells. I tried cleaning the shower stall, cleaning various other areas, but the odd smells keep popping up. I had decided it wasn't internal, but a quick and repeated experiment makes me think otherwise.
Last night I was getting idiotically pissed off as usual about the unspeakable idiots in DC as usual. The smell popped up suddenly.
Logic: The shower stall doesn't know I'm angry,
so it couldn't suddenly send a smell toward me. Who does know? The muscles in my skull. I tried loosening up the nasal cavity, and the smell disappeared as quickly as it started. Several repeats give the same result.
Angry ==> tension ==> smell starts.
Deliberately loosen skull muscles ==> smell stops.
Is this an olfactory version of tinnitus? Nerves get pinched or pushed and emit subjective "notes"?
Not conclusive yet.
After a couple days, the method still works. Catch the smell, loosen the internal muscles, lose the smell. Another possible explanation: The smell is real but faint. Tightening the nasal cavity acts like contracting the pupil or tightening the tensor tympani, focusing the odor molecules on a different part of the olfactory 'retina' or 'cochlea'.
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An even wilder thought: Can the olfactory system make the equivalent of an Oto-Acoustic Emission?
Can some part of the system send out
actual smells that can be sensed objectively and externally?
Testing for a Naso-Olfactory Emission would be damned tricky. The emission, if any, would be extremely faint. We can apply a brief stimulus easily enough with a mini-spritzer, but we don't have any equivalent of a smell microphone to detect the response. It might be possible to spritz in one nostril and suck the response from the other nostril, bringing it up to a human or dog who can act as microbrome.