Perfume: vapour pressure and perception

I’m investigating how strong the link is between vapour pressure and perception of scent intensity: do some compounds appear to be more intense when smelled than other compounds because the former has a higher vapour pressure only? Or are there compounds with lower vapour pressures than other compounds yet the former smell more intense at the same concentration, than the latter? 


  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Intensity perception has nothing to do with vapour pressure but with how well a certain molecule binds to olfactory receptors, with its perception threshold, activation potential etc. It's all biological effects in the olfactory organ but also how signals from there are processed in the brain.
    High vapour pressure just means that said compound evaporates faster and you get more scent molecules into the air. However, this doesn't automatically mean that said molecule has a stronger scent than a less volatile one!
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