The Olfactory Nerve (Cranial Nerve I)

This is located in the brain in what’s known as the forebrain.
The Olfactory Nerve or Cranial Nerve I is what gives you your sense of smell.

The olfactory nerve is sensory in nature and originates on the olfactory mucosa Opens in new window in the upper part of the nasal cavity Opens in new window.1 From the olfactory mucosa, the nerve (actually many small nerve fascicles) travels up through the cribriform plate Opens in new window of the ethmoid bone Opens in new window to reach the surface of the brain.
Here the fascicles enter the olfactory bulb and synapse there; from the bulbs (one on each side) the olfactory information is transmitted into the brain via the olfactory tract Opens in new window.2


  1. Mcgraw Hill's Anatomy and Physiology Revealed
  2. Vilensky, Joel; Robertson, Wendy; Suarez-Quian, Carlos (2015). The Clinical Anatomy of the Cranial Nerves: The Nerves of "On Old Olympus Towering Top". Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1118492017 Opens in new window.