Spam (madbodger) wrote,

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Why is it that moist things are more odiferous? For example, a dessicated dog dropping is inoffensive, but if you get it wet, the foul scent returns (orkney says the water "activates" it). I don't understand the mechanism. The water doesn't increase the surface area (in fact, it would seem to fill in the pores). It doesn't change the vapor pressure of the odor molecules. It doesn't take much water, so I doubt it's leaching out the active ingredients and spreading them out. It would make things cooler, which should reduce the rate of evaporation. I know our olfactory apparatus detects scents better when moist, but why does a old wet bolus stink more than an old dry one?
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