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.