Olfaction or olfactory perception is the sense of smell. this sense is mediated by specialized sensory cells of the nasal cavity of vertebrates, and, by analogy, sensory cells of the antennae of invertebrates. in humans, olfaction occurs when odorant molecules bind to specific sites on the olfactory receptors. these receptors are used to detect the presence of smell. they come together at what is called the glomerulus.