Monday, August 10, 2009

Fast talk: On Smelling

If I had to give up one of my five senses, it would be smell. I estimate that at least 95% of what I smell I would rather not.

I've heard that food doesn't taste as good if you've lost your sense of smell, but, frankly, that might be a relief. If food didn't taste as good, I would probably be a lot healthier. I once knew a guy who had a nasal condition that eliminated most of his sense of smell and he was as skinny as can be. I suppose smell is useful for detecting fires and things like that, but seriously, when was the last time you smelled your way out of danger? And there's always the smoke detector.


Anonymous said...

Well, I have actually smelled things that were of low-grade concern. There's noticing the mould before you sign that lease/rental-agreement. And I'm the first in our house to notice something on the verge of burning on the stove - saving us from a carbonized meal on at least a few occasions. And, my father once followed his nose to a fire that really was about to start - a cousin had thrown a sock on to a lightbulb and nobody noticed. MUCH nicer to notice that *before* the fire started. (Damage = 1 sock damage to part of a room.)

I'm blessed with a keen sense of smell - but I agree with both thoughts: it is, ironically, the one sense I'd give up before the others. And I'd be a thinner man if it happened. (When I have a cold with a congested nose, I eat much better than usual.) But it would still be sad to lose the lovely smells of the different seasons, or the beautiful aroma of fresh bread, etc. etc.

SC said...

I believe that everyone has a primary sense, the sense that they most connect to. I've known people for whom that sense is smell, and they've taught me to be aware of some amazing scent-sations. (groan). I think one could easily live without a sense of smell, but what a loss to never again smell a loved one's hair or the fresh scent of a new book or the world after rain.

If I could give up a sense without serious reprecussions, it would be sight. We're such a visually dominated culture, and frankly, I get tired of 'looking' all the time. I'd rather experience the world through my other senses. Sadly, not a practical option.