Odor naming and recognition memory are poorer in children than in adults. This study explored whether such differences might result from poorer discriminative ability. Experiment 1 used an oddity test of discrimination with familiar odors on 6-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults. Six-year-olds were significantly poorer at discrimination relative to 11-year-olds and adults, who did not differ. Experiment 2 used the same procedure but with hard-to-name visual stimuli and compared only 6-year-olds with adults (as with the remaining experiments in this study). There was no difference in performance between these groups. Experiment 3 used the same procedure as Experiment 1 but with less familiar odors. Six-year-olds were significantly poorer at discrimination than adults. In Experiment 4 the researchers controlled for verbal labeling by using an articulatory suppression task, with the same basic procedure as in Experiment 1. Six-year-old performance was the same as for Experiment 1 and significantly poorer than that of adults. Impoverished olfactory discrimination may underpin performance deficits previously observed in children. These all may result from their lesser experience with odors, relative to adults.