Why do enantiomers smell different?

1 Answer
Apr 6, 2018

Different configurations of molecules bind differently to the odorant receptor proteins that are part of your olfactory receptor neurons in your olfactory epithelium. Populations of these cells will "code" graded potentials in different distributions which are recognized by glomeruli and mitral neurons which send information up a pathway to your brain.

To be simple, your body can tell different enantiomers apart.