Odorant receptors (ORs) in olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) mediate detection of volatile odorants. Divalent sulfur compounds, such as thiols and thioethers, are extremely potent odorants. We identify a mouse OR, MOR244-3, robustly responding to (methylthio)methanethiol (MeSCH2SH; MTMT) in heterologous cells. Found specifically in male mouse urine, strong-smelling MTMT [human threshold 100 parts per billion (ppb)] is a semiochemical that attracts female mice. Nonadjacent thiol and thioether groups in MTMT suggest involvement of a chelated metal complex in MOR244-3 activation. Metal ion involvement in thiol-OR interactions was previously proposed, but whether these ions change thiol-mediated OR activation remained unknown. We show that copper ion among all metal ions tested is required for robust activation of MOR244-3 toward ppb levels of MTMT, structurally related sulfur compounds, and other metal-coordinating odorants (e.g., strong-smelling trans-cyclooctene) among >125 compounds tested. Copper chelator (tetraethylenepentamine, TEPA) addition abolishes the response of MOR244-3 to MTMT. Histidine 105, located in the third transmembrane domain near the extracellular side, is proposed to serve as a copper-coordinating residue mediating interaction with the MTMT-copper complex. Electrophysiological recordings of the OSNs in the septal organ, abundantly expressing MOR244-3, revealed neurons responding to MTMT. Addition of copper ion and chelator TEPA respectively enhanced and reduced the response of some MTMT-responding neurons, demonstrating the physiological relevance of copper ion in olfaction. In a behavioral context, an olfactory discrimination assay showed that mice injected with TEPA failed to discriminate MTMT. This report establishes the role of metal ions in mammalian odor detection by ORs.