Anybody who is opposing The Hero
can attempt to psyche them out by stating that they smell their fear. This may or may not work. It could also be said to show The Hero
how incredibly obvious it is that they are afraid. If it is said by an ally of the hero or the hero himself, it may be said in order to establish the badass-ness of whoever or whatever they are talking about ("They can smell your fear").
A character who is bestial in nature could smell fear. Such character often has heightened senses and can detect things that humans cannot.
- Classic Traveller, Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society #10
- Article "Contact! Centaurs". The alien K'Kree (AKA Centaurs) have such an incredibly keen sense of smell that they can detect chemicals given off due to a person's emotional state, thus allowing them to literally smell fear.
- Article "The Bestiary". The Focaline tree rat has such an exceptional sense of smell that it can detect a creature's emotional state. If a tree rat stays with human beings for at least a year it can learn to distinguish between human emotions such as fear and anger by smell.
- The Defiler, the first boss in the Diablo expansion pack, says "Come closer, morsel. I smell your terror, and I hunger."