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The most primitive sense

Posted by Ward on October 15, 2004

In Reply to: Personal warmth/frame posted by SR on October 15, 2004

: : : It's Friday afternoon, and I got an emergency call to join the guys at the pub - as you do. So I just got changed and I was selecting an appropriate perfume to wear. My partner was wondering what the methodology was behind the selection.

: : : I told him it was based on my mood, what I was wearing and the weather. I said, because it's cool, I need something that smells warm.

: : : He found the concept of smelling warmth a bit difficult to handle.

: : : Can anyone assist me to explain this concept? And can anyone think of any other ways to describe mixed sensations?

: : you probably need to educate your fella that he has 5 senses. smell is often neglected, but used much more than we realise. I became much more sensitive to odour/scent when I started to think about it - I am interested in food, wine and alcoholic beverage (how unusual!) - and I write about beer. to do that, I needed to think and articulate about the smells - the 'notes' of drinks.

: : smell is like sound - a chord in music is made up of different notes and the comparison is used by perfumiers.

: : Convince the guy that scent is like adding an ingredient to a dish - it is difficult to describe how you know what goes - it might be a contrast to something else or to match up with something else. as him to try to think what else it might smell like - that helps improve the vocabulary for future articulation.
: : you could say that something smells "warm" because it shares 'notes' with other scents that occur when it is warm or from warm surroundings - for example, if in cold weather you have mulled wine - cinnamon and cloves might smell 'warm' to you - or if you sit by a particular tree in the garden, the scent of that blossom is associated with 'warmth'.
: : if you want to distract him, you could always talk about intimite scents!

: : Mmm - the scent of a woman!

: Scent is like the frame. We are the picture. Scent conveys a great deal of information on how we see ourselves and how we want others to see us.

Scent is the first, most primal sense we have. It is interesting to note that the cells which recognize and classify odor are brain cells, and they are the only brain cells that are exposed to the outside environment. There must be an exquisite antibiotic mechanism (as yet undiscovered) that protects the brain from all the airborne stuff that actually comes in contact with the scent sensing layer.
Having said all that, the ability of our scent sense is largely undiscovered and the ability to discern a plethora of signals is wide and remarkable. But, as we get carried away with our abilities, think of your favorite dog, who can smell your day old footprint -- and know you passed this way. We are amateurs.