Sense of Smell

People never talk about the importance of the sense of smell.

They talk about touch, about hearing and seeing.

People always talk about how meals taste, yet there are only five distinct flavors.

With smell though, there are more than ten thousand different scents to enjoy.

What would life be like without your sense of smell? Think about the smell of freshly cut grass, the first flowers in spring or the salty smell of the ocean waters.

Think of the other sex. How much more attractive can someone be due to the smell of an exotic perfume or a rich aftershave?

My sense of smell was always one of the most important aspects of my life. As a kid, I loved to explore the world by using nothing but my nose. I grew obsessed with it in my early years. Flowers, food, animals, even the weather, I could recognize it all by my nose.

My parents saw a reason for concern and took me to the doctors. It was discovered that I’d been born with a very sensitive nose. It was rare, but no reason for worry. This obsession of mine would go away as I’d grow older, the doctor said.

He was right. Scents should remain an essential part of my life, but they’d not dominate it as they did when I was a kid. As an adult, they’d become an enrichment, something to make life a tad bit more enjoyable. The rich scents of different types of coffee, exotic spices, and various teas always filled my apartment.

As you can imagine, scents also played a part in my dating preferences.

Now I always thought I wasn’t as shallow as to decide my partners by their smell, but that changed when I met Linda.

Her smell was different, unique you could say, almost innocent. She had this fresh, sweet smell of spring around her. Not a hint of perfume surrounded her, nor was there any need for it. She had this pure, natural smell around her.

It floored me. I had noticed her in one of my lectures and had to approach her afterward. We became quick friends, and after another month, we went on our first date.

Things went well, and we soon started dating. She was cute and smart in certain ways, yet naive and innocent in others. It was the perfect mixture, precisely what I’d been looking for.

What was also perfect, was Linda’s apartment. She wanted to be a botanist, specializing in flowers and blossoming plants. It was adorable. Her whole place was filled to the brim with potted plants. The air was always heavy, almost over-saturated, with their fresh and sweet scents.

This would block out every other smell. It didn’t matter what it was, the smell of burned food, of dirty cloth or even that of rotten flesh.

It was important because after a while Linda started to smell quite a bit. Her many blooming flowers though are easily able to cover up those foul odors. And with a nose like mine, it is easy enough to make sure that no one else will notice them either.

At times I wonder if my parents would be happy to know, that I am not obsessed with smell anymore. No, now I am always obsessed with its absence.