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Thread: Sense of smell

  1. #1

    Default Sense of smell

    I know we all differ in body chemistry, so that what smells fabulous on one person smells vile on another, but I wonder how different our noses can be as well! I know people see colours differently (heck, my left and right eyes see slightly different colours!)

    I was wondering because when I read some of the perfume reviews people have written, it's as if they've been written about a completely different fragrance. Someone described Chypre Rouge as like candied pecans, whereas to me, it is almost savoury, with a lot of herbs and earth.

    I'd be interested to hear other views on this!

  2. #2

    tigrushka's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
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    Default Re: Sense of smell

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiscreet
    I was wondering because when I read some of the perfume reviews people have written, it's as if they've been written about a completely different fragrance.
    I've often noticed the same thing, I simply don't recognize some scents that are very familiar to me from some reviews.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  3. #3
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    Quarry's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sense of smell

    Yes, by alternately closing one eye and then the other, one may notice that one eye sees warmer or cooler tones than the other. So, Indiscreet, your observation makes perfect sense/scents.

    For me, my left nostril is almost incapable of sensing smell despite its passing air just as generously as the right nostril. This is very difficult to understand, but must be due to some stratetigically located sensors being wired to my brain by particular pathways. If there is that much variation in one human, the differences between individuals must be wild.

    One of the most glaring peculiarities I've noted is that SJP's Lovely is, to me, nothing but lemons, even when on a paper strip and not my skin. What the heck are you other people smelling, I wonder?

    After a bit of "work," I'm beginning to be able to smell violet, to which I was "blind" before.

    A while ago we talked about super tasters, those who have a high number of receptors on their tongues. While we might take a wine-tasting course to improve our abilities, we certainly seem ham-strung by our biological gifts.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sense of smell

    I'm very glad we got to have such variety in our sense of smell, if not, we'd be a very boring bunch.
    I enjoy very much all these different opinions (unless they seem mean to other people, then i think it's not a civilized discussion, more like random childish whining and picking).

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sense of smell

    Heh heh, Quarry - I wish I was smell-blind to violet! I sniffed Insolence and that's all I got. No red berries, nada. Same with Paris!

    But like you with Lovely, I smelled nothing but lemons when I sniffed Kingdom on a strip. Where was the gloriously dirty cumin I'd read so much about? I guess I will have to try it on my skin next time.

    On the other hand, I smelled Vol de Nuit and got a hideous burning plastic smell that almost made me gag. Heaven knows how that happened!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sense of smell

    I think sensory perceptions are different in everyone. The strangest thing is, that applies to my own perception of some fragrance, from one time to another. I've smelled scents that I liked, and smelled certain notes in them, and then smelled the exact same fragrance months or years later, and it smelled completely different, and didn't like it at all. So, the sense of smell can vary among different noses, as well as your own.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sense of smell

    Most definitely our sense of smell differs and I think that's great, makes it interesting. From SPJ, I get pears and musk, no lemons what so ever. People with great noses smell peach in Mitsouko. I do a little, but mostly spice. I love them both.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sense of smell

    Olfactory impression is very subjective, what can smell divine for someone might smell offensive and vile for someone else.
    Cultural and personal background play a major role in defining someone 's sense of smell and olfactory preferences.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sense of smell

    It's amazing to me how different the same scent can be to different people...and even to me on different days! Some scents change character completely for me in heatwaves as opposed to cold winter days. Some change dramatically as they dry down, and sometimes I wonder if some reviews allow for several hours of drydown? And some scents are just chameleons - my beloved Angelique Encens can be herbal, incensey, floral or ambery according to her mood...

  10. #10
    quinpus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sense of smell

    i find this subject interesting. i've always wondered what things "smell like" or "taste like" to people who like those things. take tomatoes, for example. i don't like them. to people who like them, do tomatoes taste like what i taste when i taste "tomato"? obviously, it's not answerable, and our words in describing tastes and smells are so incomplete.
    Seeking: woods patchouli fresh tuberose

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