Of the five senses, taste and smell are very closely related. To perceive a smell, molecules float into the nose and bind to tiny hairs called cilia, triggering neurons that pick up on the odor. Taste buds on the tongue have taste cells that sense primary flavors. Occasionally, people experience heightened senses of taste or smell, making them more sensitive to flavors and odors. There are many reasons that a person may experience these heightened senses.