The Nose Knows
animal themes: super-powerful smell abilities. They Have the Scent may come into play. The Werewolf is likely to have them, along with other canine or lupine characters. May be a form of Charles Atlas Superpower. Often used to handwave the Scarily Competent Tracker and sometimes Kung-Fu Clairvoyance as well. Detecting blood may make them the Violence Detector. If food is involved, see Follow Your Nose. Nose Tapping may be used to indicate that they do know. If this ability is inherent in one's species, it's a case of Bizarre Alien Senses.
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- Toucan Sam, the mascot of Froot Loops, has the ability to smell out his cereal from up to several miles away. This probably counts, as most toucans probably don't have nearly so well honed a sense of smell.
Anime & Manga
- This is one of Kiba's special abilities (eventually said to grow to the point that it's better than the dogs he would fight with), though it blows up in his face spectacularly (pun intended) during the Tournament Arc battle against Naruto. The worse thing? It was *hilarious*
- Him and his clan are really only the most outstanding example, as both the Third Hokage and Kakashi have shown to have rather acute sense of smell, the latter of which became critical to finding Akatsuki member Sasori.
- In what can only be described an... odd variation, Mahou Sensei Negima! has Chamo and Jack Rakan locating an enemy in an enormous barrier dimension... by tracing the scent of her panties which Rakan stole earlier. With alarming precision.
- Fuuko in CLANNAD. Good God, when she said that she'd memorized Ushio's scent, she wasn't kidding. She tracked her down by scent even in an alternate timeline.
- For a guy whose head is just a helmet Kikuchiyo has damn good sense of smell. The Emperor found out the hard way.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Joey's nose is apparently so good he can smell the perfume Mai uses to tag her cards from the opposite side of a dueling arena. Good thing he'd managed to get over that cold he'd caught at the beginning of the episode.
- Mai's ability to identify 60 or so cards apart by different perfumes is pretty impressive itself. It's Truth in Television - Veteran perfume-makers are often cabable of recognizing hundreds of different scents.
- This was Apollo's special 'psychic power' in Genesis of Aquarion. While it might seem like a rather poor ability when compared to those of his comrades, (like Pyrokinesis, Telekinesis, Super Strength and Teleportation) it proves to be one of the most useful powers on the course of series, being capable of smelling things like microscopical organism (from several feet away, when inside a cockpit!) and immaterial beings.
- This abilily is also present in Kagura from Aquarion Evol, which shouldn't be surprising given that he's reincarnated from the above, though his actual power is much more...abusable. This series also explains that their heightened sense of smell is not so much an Element power as much because Apollo is the reincarnation of a dog.
- On one occasion early in the story, Orihime can tell where Ichigo is because she can smell him. This may be a deliberate clue to the reader that she's developing spiritual powers because shinigami tend to describe detecting spiritual power as "catching the scent" of a being's spiritual presence. It's very common to see shinigami commenting on the fact they can "smell" hollows nearby as a result of this.
- Yumichika sensed the coming of Grimmjow's group by catching the unusually strange hollow scent they gave off. When he alerted Ikkaku, he was told to ignore it, but he continued to privately think it strange. When Hitsugaya's team is finally attacked, Yumichika is the only one who is not surprised. Later on, he claims to have uncovered the secret that Giselle is a man because she smells of semen. It drives Giselle into a fury and, for the rest of their fight, Yumichika continues to bait her with the subject.
- InuYasha makes use of this, occasionally having him track enemies by scent and be able to tell that there's trouble in a nearby village because he can smell human blood. Fridge Logic sets in when it cuts to a pillar of smoke and you wonder why he didn't smell that first. This is used as a Weaksauce Weakness almost as often as a strength, as strong odors knock Inuyasha out. Pity serious villains never take advantage of it.
- Sesshoumaru's sense of smell is even better than Inuyasha's. He once caught the scent of something that was many miles away and produced only by a tiny sliver of flesh. He can also smell spirits that are in the area but haven't even manifested. Unlike Inuyasha, Sesshoumaru has never been put in a position where the sensitivity of his nose can be used against him except in situations where the Big Bad has deliberately set up a scent trail for him to follow in an effort to lead him into a trap.
- Kasumi Kenshiro of Fist of the Blue Sky invokes this trope. He is said to have a sense of smell equal to a dog, and it is an important plot element in several episodes, as Kenshiro uses his sense of smell to detect poisons, bomb chemicals, and track people across an entire city. Apparently, this is just him, as none of the other Hokuto style practitioners display this ability.
- Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star also has this ability, but he rarely uses it in the series.
- Dorochette the Dog Chimera in Fullmetal Alchemist.
- We later see two other chimera who can fight by smell. Ed counters it by finding some old dynamite and overwhelming them with the smell of the ammonia he converts the ammonium nitrate into.
- They also use this to fight Gluttony and Pride when the lights need to be turned out to make it easier to fight Pride.
- Gluttony himself has a very good nose. Pride eats him to get his nasal sense, so he's less in disadvantage.
- We later see two other chimera who can fight by smell. Ed counters it by finding some old dynamite and overwhelming them with the smell of the ammonia he converts the ammonium nitrate into.
- Son Goku from Dragon Ball has a strong sense of smell that allowed him to find a rock thrown off of a cliff by Kame-Sennin ("Master Roshi").
- It also caused poor Goku to collapse on the floor when he met Bacterian, since the stench was so horrible that Goku's very sensitive nose couldn't stand it.
- In one episode of Sasami: Magical Girls Club, Sasami and the others are lost in an underground labyrinth, until Amitav arrives. He tells Sasami that he recognized her scent, causing the other girls to wonder if he has a really good sense of smell or if Sasami just stinks.
- In Fairy Tail, the Dragon Slayers Gajeel Redfox, Natsu Dragneel, and Wendy Marvell all have a very good sense of smell due to being raised by dragons. Ichiya has a good sense of smell as well, probably because of his perfume magic, but his extends all the way to being able to Detect Evil by scent alone.
- Tsujido, Suitengu's right hand man from Speed Grapher has a super sense of smell as his euphoric power.
- Saki has the Tsuruga Mahjong Club's president, Kanbara, who was revealed in the bonus chapter of volume 7 to be capable of detecting people by scent. This even bypasses Momo's stealth mode, which works by making people ignore her presence.
- It's been stated that Toriko has a nose better than a bloodhound's.
- Medaka Box: Zenkichi is able to detect Medaka's former holding location in the South Pole through scent alone.
- Franken Fran's Gavrill has a sense of smell so developed that she can deduce the perpetrators of a crime as well as exactly what happened just by smelling the crime scene.
- In Pokémon Special, Sapphire, among her various Super Senses, has such an enhanced sense of smell to the point that she can somewhat navigate even when blinded. Marlon also has a good sense of smell, though specifically to water. He can tell where a water-based Pokémon originally came from.
- In Pokémon, when Ash's Pokémon were lost in a huge pile of Pokéballs, Pikachu was successfully able to sniff them out.
- Nozomi from Yes! Pretty Cure 5 has a so good nose that she smells a crépe's smell on a little part of a flyer.
- Mike Zacharius from Attack on Titan is said to have a nose so sensitive that it can track Titans further than human sight. He can even smell how many Titans will appear.
- Reipin from Fushigi Yuugi Byakko Ibun has such a good sense of smell that she can find her newfound friend Nirusha solely by his scent. It's one of the first hints to her identity as the daughter of a Shape Shifter.
- Goku from Saiyuki has an enhanced sense of smell. Mostly he uses it for finding food, but he manages to search for other things as well, such as when he tracks down Gonou/Hakkai by the scent of blood after his wound reopened. At one point he also comments on the arc's villain Chin Yisou "not smelling alive", giving Hakkai a clue about the villain's nature.
- Puma in the Spider-Man comics. He easily determined Spider-Man's secret identity. As did Wolverine.
- Wolverine and Sabertooth have this as a major ability. Wolverine's makes him the go-to person for identifying impersonators; it seems that even if you can change everything from your voice, hair color, and the shape and color of your body, you can't change how you smell.
- He's even used a lack of smell to identify that something's fishy, likening it to a big dark spot in the middle of an otherwise well-lit room.
- His daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone X-23's senses may be even better. Laura's been able to smell a man lying when even Logan couldn't, was able to isolate the scent of her cousin and her kidnapper even after the room had been contaminated with other searchers, and rapidly locate them in the middle of San Francisco. Since Logan and Laura's enhanced senses are a side effect of their Healing Factor, this may be because Laura's is much stronger since hers isn't constantly fighting adamantium poisoning.
- Daredevil is another comic book example. Matt's sense of smell is sometimes exaggerated beyond all credibility (making him able to smell, say, what people ate last week), especially when they're downplaying the radar sense.
- Fantastic Four villain the Mole Man has this, along with excellent hearing, both to make up for his poor eyesight.
- Blade's sense of smell is slightly superhuman and he's especially good at sniffing out vampires.
- Wolfsbane, a werewolf in the original New Mutants, has this.
- As does Catspaw, a were-giant purple cat in the original Hellions.
- So does Sensor Girl of the Legion of Super-Heroes, who is actually Princess Projectra.
- Timber Wolf too, seeing he's the Legion's resident feral
- In Werewolf by Night, Jack Russell's werewolf curse grants him an enhanced sense of smell even in human form, which also enables him to smell emotions. Once he uses it to sniff out a pedophile simply by the scent he gives off around children, seeing right through the man's feigned disinterest.
- Part of the reason Lobo is one of the greatest bounty hunters in the DC Universe is that he can track people by smell across interstellar distances. Once he has your scent, there is nowhere in the universe you can hide from him.
- Bigby from Fables, being the Big Bad Wolf, has a very strong sense of smell. According to him, the reason he's such a heavy smoker is that cigarettes help deaden his sense of smell so that he can cope with the information overload of smells that come from living in a city.
- Superman has a super-sense of smell as well; it's just that with his other super-senses he rarely needs to use it. (Probably the only sense of his that isn't enhanced is his sense of touch, as it conflicts with his invulnerability.
- In Asbjřrnsen and Moe's The Giant Who Had No Heart in His Body, the giant smells the prince's presence.
- In Joseph Jacobs's Jack and the Beanstalk, the giant smells Jack.
- In most early versions of Hansel and Gretel, the witch is described as being nearly blind, but having a powerful sense of smell that can sense prey coming from far away.
- In 'Nexus' This is how Jack was able to realize he was about to get attacked by Scarecrows. He also deduces that while in the Demon World, that if he could smell the demons, they could smell him. More specifically they could smell his Sparda blood.
- Farce Contact, a Star Trek: Enterprise fanfic by Odon. T'Pol's dislike over how humans smell is due to its similarity to the scent a rutting Vulcan male emits every seven years. It can be smelt for vast distances by the sensitive nose of a female Vulcan, and is therefore known as the pong farr.
- Queen Of All Oni: At some point after her encounter with Lung, Jade develops a heightened, animalistic sense of smell.
- Just like in the manga, Inuyasha's nose is used for tracking. He track's Odd's scent at one point, which was mainly Odd's feet... The authoress hit two or three birds with one stone there. Inuyasha was surprised that the stench of Odd's smelly feet didn't knock him out considering those feet knock out almost everyone, and said everyone were all HUMAN.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- Hannibal Lecter in pretty much all his movies (Manhunter, The Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon) is established as having a near-supernatural sense of smell.
- In Crocodile Dundee, he can smell aftershave when no one else can, and changes his plan accordingly.
- The Childcatcher of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, whose powerful (and rather large) nose lets him enforce the Child Hater regime of Vulgaria.
Child Catcher: Let me tell you, Toymaker, this nose of mine has never failed me, and if there are children here, my friend, you will die! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
- In Next, The Accountant has a powerful sense of smell that he uses to track people down.
- C.D. from Roxanne can smell smoke from a fire across town with his Gag Nose.
- All American Pups:
- In the first book, Tracker, a beagle puppy, follows Rosie's scent all the way back to her city.
- In Camp Barkalot, Fritz "pretend[s] he's Tracker" and traces the others' scent trails to find them when it's too dark to see.
- In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Ezsrah has powerful smelling abilities. Indeed, in one passage contemplating how strange the Ghosts were, he distinguishes their three homeworlds by smell before considering how different they look, and then that their three commissars also smell different from any of them.
- In Pinocchios Sister, the Pliskas' poodle Lulu uses her nose to find Sparkle Bob after he runs away. Later, she uses her nose to find Martha after she runs away.
- In William King's Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf novels, Ragnar relies heavily on his sense of smell to judge things, to track, and to determine how people feel.
- In Lee Lightner's Wolf's Honour, at the end, Berek smells Ragnor and tells his men not to ready their weapons.
- The heroes of Robert Lynn Asprin's fantasy novel Myth-ing Persons bring in a werewolf tracker to help them find the fugitives they are chasing.
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky, Black Sun, their ability to smell "the mothers" on Uriel is what persuades the Unfleshed to listen to him.
- Earlier in the series, in Warriors of Ultramar, a Deathwatch Space Wolf uses his sense of smell to locate a Tyranid synapse beast.
- In E.W. Hildick's McGurk juvenile mystery series, Willy the Nose is one of the kid detectives, with a super-sensitive sense of smell that his leader puts great store by. The narrator is a little dubious about this, but it does seem to come in handy more times than not.
- In the Evie Scelan series, Evie's main ability is to track anything, mundane or magical, by scent.
- The main plot point in the novel Perfume is the main character's incomparable sense of smell.
- The main character of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children has the ability to smell things no one else can smell, such as lies or oncoming disaster.
- Sergeant Angua of Terry Pratchett's Discworld has this even in human form, which proves to be very helpful in several cases, notably the investigation in the dwarf mines during Thud!
- Lance Constable Sally has a similar ability, but she senses blood, and it is in some cases more useful than Angua's nose, which irks her.
- Unfortunately for them, once the criminals realised there was a werewolf in the watch (although they don't know who, exactly, it is) they started carrying around scent bombs to muddle their trail.
- Inverted with the Nazgűl in Lord of the Rings, who first appear to be able to detect the One Ring by scent. This is actually an illusion; they detect it due to a bond they have with it that has nothing to do with scent. (Indeed, as undead beings, it is doubtful that they have a functioning sense of smell at all.)
- Played straight with Gollum in The Hobbit, however, given that he lived in a cave most of his life; when Bilbo escaped from him, he nearly realized he was there due to his keen hearing and sense of smell, despite Bilbo being invisible. The savage wargs had this too; the narration specifically said that they didn't have to see Bilbo to find him.
- This takes two different forms in The Wheel of Time series. Wolfbrothers are characters with an unnatural affinity for wolves. Among several other abilities, their sense of smell is enhanced so much that they can tell the emotional state of people around them even without any visual cues. They can even detect such things as deception and madness, which is immensely handy. Perrin is one. In case you're wondering, such an ability is biologically impossible, but since this trait is believed to be caused by magic, that's all right. Also, there are "sniffers", a kind of people with an inborn ability to sense violence as a smell on people or places. Sniffers are rare and maybe even nonexistent south of the Borderlands, but still more common - or at least, more socially accepted - than Wolfbrothers.
- In the Women Of The Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, a werewolf's sense of smell is incredibly strong to the point where werewolves find it necessary to use specifically non-scented hygiene products if they want their sense of smell to work at full capacity. Elena, a female werewolf, can't even stand to use scented hand soap, as it severely interferes with her ability to smell anything else. She herself has the best nose of her Pack, and once she catches a scent, she'll be able to remember and hunt the person down by it even years later. It's shown in Bitten that newly-bitten and inexperienced werewolves will likely still use scented products if they did so as a human, having not yet learned to rely on their nose just as much as their eyes and ears, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage against other werewolves.
- This is similarly shown in Darkest Powers, Armstrong's YA trilogy. Werewolves have enhanced senses in general, but those senses aren't very strong until they Change into wolf form for the first time (usually around eighteen). Derek, a sixteen-year-old werewolf, has an incredibly enhanced sense of smell even though he hasn't actually begun to Change into wolf form yet. In a small house that is completely and consistently overlaid by the scents of about eight different people, he is still capable of pinning down the scent of the person he wants to find, determining the most recent trail despite her having just walked all through the house, and track her down into the basement and into a cellar where she was locked inside and physically incapable of doing anything to make anyone aware of her location. Of course, considering she has no idea that he's anything other than human, this causes some awkwardness when he has to explain how he managed to find her.
- In Robert E. Howard's Rogues in the House Conan the Barbarian can identify Murilo by his perfume, despite its being scarcely detectable by the civilized.
- Willie “The Nose” Sandowskey from the Mc Gurk Detective Agency book series by Edmund Wallace Hildick had a keen sense of smell. He was able to smell things others couldn't, and identify the scents.
- Randall Garrett's Too Many Magicians, Lord John Quetzal is a "witch smeller", able to detect black magic with a sixth sense which he experiences as a smell.
- Sanya, Knight of the Cross from The Dresden Files, perceives the presence of supernatural evil in the form of foul odors. This has its limitations, as he mistakenly attributes the stench of Nicodemus to a toddler's soiled diaper at the end of Death Masks.
- In The Underland Chronicles the rats demonstrate this quality in their first appearance by accurately calculating what Gragor and Boots ate for dinner hours earlier right down to the tiny bowl of greens. They also are shown to be able to estimate human emotions and navigate and fight in complete darkness.
- In Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane we meet Twitchtip who has such a sensitive nose that she is called a "sent seer." Among other things she can detect the sent of a rager, newly hardened volcanic rock, a whirlpool, and the color of Boots' shirt from out side the castle tower Boots is in.
- In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novels, Tybalt. Though he has to remind Toby more than once that he's not a bloodhound.
- In Poul Anderson's Three Hearts and Three Lions, Hugi can track the werewolf, even in the city's smells.
- Barra the Pict from Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon has a keen nose that can sometimes warn her when enemies are sneaking around nearby.
- In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, the natives of Hungry Jungle hunt mostly by smell.
- Moreaus tend to have very good senses of smell, as do combat frankensteins like Evi Isham
- Dinoverse's tyrannosaurs have powerful senses of smell. The first thing Mike does with his is find the ocean - when his friend tells him to smell for it he even says "Your nose knows." Later he tries to track someone down. It's portrayed as less of a superpower and more of an ability which can fail him - when he tries tracking he gets nowhere since his sense of smell was blunted by too much exposure to strong smells.
- The Red Vixen Adventures: Foxens place great importance on scent. The Red Vixen wears heavy perfume to prevent identification and Rolas recognizes Melanie as her by taste. And Commander Blacksailor recognizes Alinadar as his long-lost sister by her scent, and the fact that she has living relatives finally breaks through to Ali when he gives her a toy that belonged to his sister which is still saturated with her scent due to being sealed in a plastic bag for twenty years.
- Sherlock appears to have exceptional olfactory abilities - in the first episode, "A Study in Pink", he is able to detect that two different people are wearing the same deodorant, in "The Reichenbach Fall", he is the only one at the scene of a crime to scent spilt linseed oil, and in "The Sign of Three" he takes it even farther by managing to identify that a passing gentleman is wearing two different kinds of deodorant! The man is now bordering on Super Senses.
- In the Doctor Who comic strip "The Love Invasion", the Doctor is able to work out that the Lend-a-Hand girls aren't human because they smell odd. Rose even refers to his sense of smell as "the infallible space nose".
- Similarly, one of the things that tips him off about a clone in the episode "The Poison Sky" is her smell.
- Poked fun at when a character in the episode "The Empty Child" wanted to know how the Doctor had managed to follow her. Note: this was when the Doctor was being played by Christopher Eccleston, who has a fairly prominent nose and ears.
9th Doctor: I'm good at following, me. Got the nose for it.Nancy: People can't usuallly follow me if I don't want 'em to.Doctor: My nose has special powers.Nancy: Really? Is that why it's... Do your ears have special powers too?
- The Doctor has sometimes claimed to be able to identify the year by smell. But more often he has to use other means.
- In Torchwood: Children of Earth, Clem can smell that Gwen is pregnant and that Ianto is "queer."
- Psych: Gus nicknamed his nose The Supersniffer, which he seems to have inherited from his parents.
- Napoleon LeNez and Oscar Vibenius in Pushing Daisies.
- In The 10th Kingdom, Wolf manages to follow Virgina's scent to the middle of a swamp, where she's buried under a mass of vines. Sort of justified in that he's a werewolf.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
Wesley: Good Lord! How did you—Cordelia: That's unbelievable. I didn't think you ever had sex.
- Vampires have a fairly limited version of this. They are able to smell who people have been close to recently, but are rarely shown tracking people in frequently traveled areas. This ability is even called into question at one point. Wesley declares that Angel's nose shouldn't be as sensitive as he claims it to be. Angel takes a good whiff, and informs Wes that he had sex with a bottle blonde the night before.
- Connor either has a better version, or has been given more incentive to get good at it.
- Oz, a werewolf who usually seems completely normal when in human form, manages to smell Willow while driving around in a van. He can even tell she's afraid. Later Oz is clued into Willow's relationship with Tara because he can smell her scent on her.
- In the final episode, Angel gets jealous when he picks up the distinct smell of Spike on Buffy, causing her to make the page quote in Smells Sexy. Subverted when Buffy meets up with Spike later and he immediately starts snarking about Angel. Buffy says, "Let me guess, you smelt him." Spike responds that he also used his "enhanced vampire eyeballs to watch you kissing him." Busted!
- The hero of The Sentinel had this ability, along with the other senses. So did at least one villain on that show, his Evil Counterpart.
- P.T., from The Kids from CAPER, had this.
- Rachel Pirzad has this on Alphas.
- Once Upon a Time: This is something that Red retains in Storybrooke after the curse is broken, due to her being The Big Bad Wolf in the Enchanted Forest.
Red: Lately since things changed, I've been a little more sensitive to odors.Gold: You can smell her?Red: (gives him a look) I guess it's because of the "wolf" thing.
- On Teen Wolf, the werewolves have a much better sense of smell than regular humans. At one point, Scott can tell that two parts of a dead body belong to the same person because they smell the same.
- Heightened sense of smell is a species-wide trait of Luxans on Farscape. As such, Chiana expects that D'Argo will figure out she had an affair with Jothee because he will smell her on him and vice versa. D'Argo eventually gets them to confess by asking "What is that smell?" though he may not have actually smelled anything (or he did, plus he already had his suspicions.)
- On Grimm, some kinds of Wesen have this ability. Interestingly, they seem to be the ones with canine animal forms (Blutbad, Fuchsbau).
- Game of Thrones. Tyrion smells lavender oil on on his cousin Lancel, a clue that he's bedding Tyrion's sister, Queen Cersei.
Tyrion: Lavender oil. She always loved lavender oil...Lancel: I am a knight!Tyrion: An anointed knight, yes.
- The titular character of Hannibal could smell stomach cancer in his teacher before they were even diagnosed, an infection in the brain of one of his patients, the spores of a specific kind of plant on a corpse that was carried several miles in a river, and the personal scent of someone who had only been in the same ROOM as the person he was smelling.
- In Prickly City, when Winslow claims a Superman origin (in a Multiple-Choice Past), he says his super power is "smell, of course," pointing at his nose.
- In a very early strip, Snoopy is able to smell someone who is just thinking about food! In a later strip, catching a whiff of his favorite food - pizza - enables him to make a fast dash out of his doghouse before a huge icicle crashes down on it.
- In a later strip, Snoopy's brother Spike "can smell a plate of fudge from a mile away", according to Charlie Brown.
- In Calvin and Hobbes, Hobbes has a good sense of smell, and has unique words for different smells, such as "snippid" for burning leaves. (When Calvin asks what the word for his smell is, Hobbes says "terrible", causing Calvin to chase after him.)
- Werewolves, of course. Supernaturally good tracking abilities, Rituals that allow them to share an acquired scent between pack mates, and Gifts that allow them to smell things such as lies.
- Shadowrun adepts are people with magical potential who, instead of learning spells or dealing with spirits, use it to train their bodies to superhuman levels. There are, predictably, five options for buying the enhanced sense power.
- Dungeons & Dragons has quite a few monsters that are known for an excellent sense of smell. One good example is grimlocks. They are blind (having no actual eyes, in fact) living in dark caves and using their excellent senses of smell and hearing to hunt for prey.
- GURPS anything with the "Discriminatory Smell" advantage.
- One of the five "Enhanced Senses" mods in Eclipse Phase, along with vision, hearing, echolocation, and direction.
- Sveta in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn can find monster tracks by using solely her sense of smell, although this skill is only used two or three times through the whole game.
- In Persona 4 Teddie literally "smells" the presence of a human trapped in the TV World. He even said the titular phrase and it was hilarious!
- Link in wolf form In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess can follow scent trails, represented as colored vapor trails in his Predator-vision "sense view".
- Similarly, in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, there is a mask that allows you to see scents and sniff out mushrooms.
- Ciel in Tsukihime can tell that Shiki has been fighting Nrvnqsr Chaos and that he had an erotic dream by smelling him. She basically just walks up to him and starts sniffing. She has no real animal emphasis, though.
- The Dog from Secret of Evermore can find alchemy ingredients anywhere.
- In Discworld Noir, Lewton becomes a werewolf, then must match scents (distinguished by colored fumes) to other scents in order to track down clues and identify the culprits.
- In Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories the darkness starts to affect Riku's sense of smell, giving him an ability to sense metaphysical things such as people's auras that way. Zexion also has the ability to smell people's auras.
- Many Pokémon have this ability. In fact, the move Odor Sleuth takes advantage of this, allowing Ghost Types to be hit with Normal and Fighting type moves and lowering evasion to normal levels, making it quite useful if presented with either scenario.
- Slurpuff is the greatest example of this trope in the Pokemon world. It's said to have a sense of smell 100 million times that of a human.
- Nosepass can use its nose like a compass.
- This is how Boney can determine what an enemy is weak against/susceptible to in Mother 3, though if the enemy has no scent or smells bad enough, he'd only waste a turn using it.
- Metal Gear:
- Straynap, the Mentor Mascot / Exposition Fairy in the Sega Dreamcast Action RPG Napple Tale, can distinguish disguised characters and and fleeing fairies by smell — but it's not really "smelling" and more like "hunches". Or so he says.
- Bob and George Tracking Star Man. Allegedly
- The Dreamland Chronicles: Nicodemus.
- Umber from Flipside is stated as having a sense of smell as keen as a dog's.
- Florence of Freefall: (569) (1600) (1946). May be arbitrarily overridden by the Rule of Funny (or the French ninjas would never work(or maybe the French ninjas were just that good)).
Niomi: How good is that nose of yours?Florence: Ever hear about people trying to train dogs to detect the onset of epileptic seizures?Niomi: You can smell my brain?Florence: Well, it's not like you guys wash it regularly.
- Or she was concentrating on the conversation, and ignored her nose. Also, the fact that there were robots behind the screen meant that humans wouldn't have to be involved.
- Girl Genius:
- The Jaegers can recognize a Heterodyne by smell.
- Also Krosp, a humanoid cat, retains his cat senses.
- One Jaeger was able to recognize that a person was hiding behind a curtain listening in on a conversation, by smelling the soap the hiding person used.
- Terezi of Homestuck is completely blind, but can taste and smell color. To the point that she is entirely capable of using a computer simply by smelling or licking the screen. It also lets her figure out Karkat's real blood color, long before it was even revealed to the audience.
- Impure Blood. How he realizes that someone is coming.
- Happens sometimes in Kevin & Kell, especially with Kell.
- Brelvis from Magellan.
- In No Rest for the Wicked, how Red leads them through The Lost Woods, ignoring Stay on the Path.
- Belkar from The Order of the Stick could use his nose to not only immediately recognize Gender-Changed Roy, but to distinguish between Elan and Nale. (Granted, Nale wasn't exactly making it difficult, but it was only the scent that clued Belkar in). Belkar's is sharp enough that Roy complains that he didn't smell that the bodies were dead. He could also smell Malack and the newly vampirized Durkon coming from through a closed door across a large room, thanks in part to both of them being full of his own blood.
- In Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger, the hunting snorf. Can pick up a scent from a description, admitted of a distinctive being, and tell she's sick.
- Rusty and Co.:
- When the Princess defends her smoking, Mimic points out that monsters hunt through smeell.
- Stabs can recognize that Prestige is a cop by smell alone.
- The guards to the Inner Santcum of the Tentacallis Dungeon are grimlocks, who are blind and hunt through smell.
- And Madeline can smell Character Alignment.
- Unsounded: Sette's sense of smell borders on supernatural. She can track pretty much anything, and can even smell magic. Unfortunately, magic smells like concentrated farts.
- In Widdershins, the dog can smell a magical item.
- In Doc Rat, it can be embarrassing.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, both Reynardine and Coyote. Which embarrassed Andrew and Parley into Crush Blush when those characters smell them. Later, Reynardine applies the same treatment to Kat, after she starts dating Paz.
- In Endstone, Kyri recounts how she trusts Jon for his smell. Then, she is a deer.
- In Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name, any vampire who meets Hanna recoils, complaining that he "smells dead." Apparently, using magic taints his blood.
- Several Avatars of animal spirits in the Whateley Universe have this: Mongoose (possessor of a mongoose spirit), Aquerna (has a squirrel spirit), and Kodiak (a bear spirit) are just three of them. There's also the kid with the super-sensitive nose who passed out from the smell when Jade came to class, even though she was sure she had gotten the smell of sewer and monster guts off her already.
- Nimble of Patchwork Magisters can smell magic, with different kinds having unique, identifiable scents.
- The supervillain Stormtiger in Worm possesses this power on top of being able to Blow You Away.
- Subversion: A few episodes of The Alvin Show (predecessor to Alvin and the Chipmunks) feature "Sam Valiant, Private Nose." He thinks his enormous schnoz solves mysteries, but he's always way off.
- Ferret of Static Shock. When you compare him to guys who can throw fireballs or turn their hands into buzz saws, it gets pretty easy to see why he didn't do a lot of solo work.
- The Simpsons Homer Simpson has demonstrated the ability to smell frosting decorations on a cake in another room:
Wait, I can smell a cake...frosting says "Farewell...and...*gasps* BEST WISHES!"
- That's nothing! He can HEAR pudding.
- In Batman Beyond, a Cat Girl and a Snakeman were able to take on an invisible Batman this way.
- Code Name Kids Next Door: Numbuh 3. In Operation R.A.I.N.B.O.W.S., she uses her nose to track down wild monkeys. (Technically, she doesn't do this by scent. In Operation S.A.T.U.R.N. she is even able to track them through the vacuum of space, because, as she puts it, "I smell them with my heart".)
- June of Avatar: The Last Airbender has Nila, a giant mole-creature-thing that she rides around on that can follow anyone's scent.
- Candace is apparently so obsessed with her brothers Phineas and Ferb that she can smell them. When one character quips "what do they smell like" she replies;
"Motor-oil and competence."
- The Aardvark from The Ant and the Aardvark has a nose with his mouth at the end that he uses as a vacuum cleaner in trying to catch the Ant. He's never successful at it, and in one cartoon lampshades its dubious aesthetics:
Aardvark: Check the profile. That's a profile?!
- In one episode of Winx Club, Knut is trying to lead the heroines through a cavern system to a secret entrance to the The Cloud Tower, only for them to become lost. Bloom mentions that she heard once that ogres have a very good sense of smell which might help. It clearly does, as Knut is quickly able to pick up the smell of a box of donunts he remembered leaving in his room at the Tower.
- In Gravity Falls, Mabel can detect Robbie's presence by the smell of anger and hormones.
- In Turtles Forever, Beebop and Rocksteady grab a giant nose to detect the Ninja Turtles' base. They say this in response.
- In several versions of Scooby-Doo, the gang will sometimes use Scooby to sniff for clues.
- On Total Drama World Tour, Izzy once led Owen and Noah around in circles during a maze challenge because she "smelled something lucky." A more definite case of this power came during All-Stars, however, when she was immediately able to tell that there was something wrong with "Mike" because of his scent.
Izzy: You smell weird! Like a honey-cruller wrapped in rotten ham. Good on the inside, poison on the outside.
- In The Beatles cartoon, Ringo's nose is made the subject of some gentle jesting in some first season episodes.
Ringo: It's so foggy I can't see my own nose. And when you can't see a nose like mine—ho, ho!—that's foggy!
- Wildmutt from Ben10 has no eyes but can still see smelling with the nostrils at both sides of his head.
- Some sources about Native Americans claim that there had indeed been rare individuals amongst them who could smell as well or better as dogs.
- Humans in general, if they hone their sense of smell and live outside of the olfactory kaleidoscope of cities, can learn to track and identify individuals by smell alone.
- According to this Cracked article, you can detect fear, sexual arousal, and even whether someone is more dominant or submissive from smelling their sweat. Yeah. Wonder why that's not better known.
- Women generally have better senses of smell than men, but during menstruation some women have a heightened sense of smell due to all the hormones flooding their system. (It's not as awesome when you consider smelling all the blood that's been seeping out of for a week.) Pregnancy can also drastically increase one's sense of smell, and possibly hearing.
- Like morning sickness, this is possibly an adaptation to help expectant mothers avoid foods which could be toxic to a fetus.
- In fact, the phrase "a mother always knows" is more accurate than one may think. Tests have shown that a mother, if blindfolded, can correctly identify her own newborn child simply by scent far easier than the child's father can.
- Autistic people tend to have more sensitive senses of smell, as part of the general "hypersensitivity" symptom.
- Spraying a small amount of water vapor up one's nostrils is an effective way to heighten one's sense of smell, as it liquifies the mucus layer over the olfactory epithelium and allows odorants to penetrate more easily. This method is extensively used by wine-tasters, coffee-ground testers, people who check fish for freshness, etc.
- Animals with keen senses of smell (commonly dogs, but sometimes others such as pigs or rats) are routinely trained for tracking and detection work. In fact, contrary to what you see in movies, someone who tries to wade through a stream to fool a bloodhound who's tracking him won't throw the animal off at all. Nor will spraying yourself with a strong-smelling substance fool a dog, as their brains are very efficient at picking out individual components of scents: it's said that a dog doesn't actually smell "pizza", it smells tomato sauce, cheese, crust, mushrooms, oregano, pepperoni, the cardboard delivery box...
- Although if you can get right underwater for a bit there'd be nothing left to smell.
- The MythBusters have tested most of the techniques above—and several more—for throwing off bloodhounds and sniffer dogs. None of them were completely effective, and attempting to mask one scent with another was never proven effective. The only things that worked at all to throw off the bloodhounds were inner-city tracking (due to the overwhelming kaleidoscope of scents distracting the bloodhound; additionally, this particular bloodhound was not trained for urban environments) and literal Red Herring (though that was as much due to Delicious Distraction as masking the scent).