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Why is odor always classified as a physical property as opposed to a chemical property?
Question Date: 2004-03-01
Answer 1:

I can't imagine.
Scent is detected by specialized cells which bind to specific species of chemicals. It is nearly always a chemical property.One might quibble that the scent process does not induce a chemical reaction -- but in many cases it does. (Ozone has a definite scent, but largely reacts inside the body before being exhaled.)

Answer 2:

Is odor classified as a physical property ?
This might be simply as matter of convenience. Odor is very much a chemical property.It is now well known that different molecules have one of several smells. The sensation of smell is produced when the odor-causing molecule binds to certain sites (called receptors) high up in the nose.
To a large extent, it is believed that the shapes of molecules control how they smell. This is a very active area of research worldwide.

Answer 3:

I have never seen 'odor' classified as a physical property. I suppose that it would be classified as such because it can be measured without having to bring along a chemistry kit of some sort. Of course,it is a chemical property, and in truth, you do need a chemistry kit to identify it - but said chemistry set is a part of your body, so...I don't know why odor is considered a physical property and not a chemical one. It doesn't make sense to me. I think that whoever came up with that identification is incorrect.

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