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My nose is growing

I'll describe how I'm trying to improve my ability to sense, recognize and enjoy the world of smells & especially the world of fine fragrances.

  1. Sample Choir



    I'm fortunate in my friends. Besides the samples I've bought, I've been given many more - some several years ago and many more, lately.

    When I had a couple of dozen samples, I kept them in boxes. Filling the boxes about half full of little plastic pellets lets the samples stand up nicely. (I originally saw this idea suggested by 30roses.) But now I have more than 100 sample bottles and ...
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  2. Do You Smell What I Smell? – A Challenge

    Of course we’re all unique. But how large are our differences? There are fragrances – rose, lemon, vanilla, coffee, … – that most of us are very familiar with. We’ve all learned to recognize them, we associate the same fragrances with the same sources, and we use the same names for them. But what about less familiar odors? I wouldn’t have recognized a fougere or chypre before I got into fragrances.

    I'm thinking about how wide the differences are in the way people experience ...
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  3. Picture How We Smell – 2



    I posted my own version of molecules-to-nose-to-brain smell recognition in May. I based this new one on Nobel Prize work by Linda Buck and Richard Axel. I made up the first version just using what I remembered of neural nets and artificial intelligence in computers. Doctors Axel and Buck and their students worked more than 15 years to find out what really happens. Obviously, this is the one ...
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  4. Helen Keller



    Diane Ackerman’s A Natural History of the Senses includes a section titled, Prodigies of Smell, “the most famous of whom is probably Helen Keller." In fact, Helen Keller is the only prodigy discussed. She’s also the only prodigy mentioned in the Freeks, Geeks, and Prodigies chapter of Avery Gilbert’s What the Nose Knows.

    Ackerman says, “Helen Keller had a miraculous ...
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  5. Comfort

    My hip’s been hurting for months, so I made myself a comfort spray to use at bedtime. The problem with hip pain (at least mine) is that there’s no comfortable sleep position. I was dreading going to bed at night. So I mixed up a spray bottle with lavender, frankincense, oud, lots of vanilla and vodka for a carrier. It’s not magic – I never expected it would be. It doesn’t put me to sleep or keep me asleep. But it is an interesting smell experience at bedtime, when I spray some on my pillow ...
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