Miscellany

o two noses alike

Scientists have long known that people perceive scents differently. But emerging evidence from several large-scale studies shows that the variation is larger than previously known.

I like to smell food before I eat it. I also like to smell flowers when I’m out for a walk, and am disappointed by all the red, red roses that have no scent. But one of my children is a much more avid smeller. As a toddler with no social inhibitions, she smelled the bottoms of guests’ shoes. Sometimes I joined her in her smelling adventures, curious about what she found. However, now it seems I may not have known. Turns out that every human nose is unique and each has its blind spots. How human.

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2 thoughts on “o two noses alike”

  1. Do you find your hormonal cycle affects this? There are times of the month when everything smells more strongly than usual, and I can’t wear perfume because it gives me a headache. When I was pregnant, my sense of smell was almost a liability – no way could I get near the cat food first thing in the morning! 🙂

    1. Litlove, that is really interesting. I have noticed that at certain times of stress my sense of hearing gets very acute. I didn’t put that together with my sense of smell, but I think that gets more sensitive, as well.

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