Scents appear when at the location where someone commits a Crime. They look like exclamation points bobbing up and down and can only be seen if you Toggle Tracking.
Scents can be gathered to obtain Evidence and used to track down the perpetrator, his or her home base, or the item stolen, if applicable.
Each scent gathered provides 180 minutes of tracking time.
Scents based on the crime committed:
Trespassing: left when a player tries to cross a hostile claim, or use a door, gate, or chest on that claim. You can cross/enter/leave a hostile claim without learning the Trespassing Skill. Trespassing is not summonable. Trespassing scents expire after 1 day.
Larceny (Theft): left when a character tries to take anything off a claim they don't have permissions on (such as out of a chest, carry an object across the claim borders), or loot a body (leaves no scent if it is your direct ancestor). Larceny scents expire after 9 days.
Witchcraft: left when a Witch tries and fails to attune a doll to a player. Otherwise, Witchcraft leaves no scents and so it is most dangerous to stand still in a public place and give a Witch a good target for attuning. Witchcraft scents expire after 17 days.
Waste: left when a character attempts to destroy or build anything on a claim you don't have permissions on. Waste scents expire after 11 days.
Assault: left when one player initiates combat with another player. Assault scents expire after 1 day.
Battery: left when one player knocks out another player. Battery is not summonable. Battery scents expire after 3 days.
Murder: left when any character is killed by another player. Murder scents expire after 16 days.
Forgery: left when any character mint Silver Bars into Silver Coins. Forgery scents expire after 5 month.
See the page on Crime & Punishment for more details.