Does smelling caffeine share equivalent effects on our central nervous system to those immediately apparent when ingesting? More precisely, does the aroma of coffee necessitate a beneficial neurological response?

  • 1
    I know from somewhere that smelling coffee makes you happy (serotonin excretion?) and less desperate. I don't know if it is relevant to caffeine or other aromatics. I cannot remember the source. I should check it.
    – MTSan
    Aug 6, 2018 at 5:23

2 Answers 2


From Time Magazine's You Can Now Inhale Caffeine Instead of Drinking It article:

Forget coffee and energy drinks—now you can inhale your caffeine. ... Each inhaler boasts a pretty small amount of caffeine, which the company says comes from natural sources like guarana, taurine, and ginseng (stimulants that are also common among energy drinks).

Since it can be absorbed into your body (nasal, oral mucosa and lungs), there would be a neurological response, hopefully positive.


Caffeine, a popular CNS stimulant, is the most widely used neuroactive drug. Present in coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications, it influences millions of users. This agent has achieved recent notoriety because its dependency consequences and addictive potential have been re-examined and emphasized. Caffeine's central actions are thought to be mediated through adenosine (A) receptors and monoamine neurotransmitters. The present article suggests that the olfactory bulb (OB) may be an important site in the brain that is responsible for caffeine's central actions in several species. This conclusion is based on the extraordinarily robust and selective effects of caffeine on norepinephrine (NE), dopamine (DA), and particularly serotonin (5HT) utilization in the OB of mice. We believe that these phenomena should be given appropriate consideration as a basis for caffeine's central actions, even in primates. Concurrently, we review a rich rodent literature concerned with A, 5HT, NE, and DA receptors in the OB and related structures along with other monoamine parameters. We also review a more limited literature concerned with the primate OB. Finally, we cite the literature that treats the dependency and addictive effects of caffeine in humans, and relate the findings to possible olfactory mechanisms.

  • 1
    Could you add references, if this is not your own work?
    – MTSan
    Jun 8, 2019 at 9:52

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