Misleading title, but an interesting read...
Mmmmmmm, smells like bad dancing and good credit.
I was reading about this elsewhere than the posted link.
All it seems to be saying is that the average person thinks anything with 30+ scent molecules smells similar to anything else with 30+ molecules, even if all the molecules in one are different from the other.
This doesn't seem so much as discovering a new smell as a published study of a known phenomenon (think olfactory fatigue.)
White smell they call it. And they are trying to say it is similar to white noise and white (additive: light) color.
I suppose if you get enough molecules together there is an "accord-limit."
I would think everyone would have their own limit to when this would happen.
I think it's nice that they've shown that the "white-out" phenomenon generally applies to smell, like it does to sound and vision. I think the really interesting stuff will likely be in the details, such as the differences from the other senses, or the differences between people (like you mention).
It would probably be much weirder if there *wasn't* such a thing as "white smell"!
I wonder how much of our average "white smell" is halitosis.
Yeah it's gotta be different for different people. It's like how they say women have *triple* the sense of smell as men.
It has been posited that this is the reason there are more men in specialist careers than women -- women may be more capable than men on average, but there may be more "especially talented" (and especially disabled) men overall than women.
This definitely matches my personal anecdotal experience with women. I find the average female more socially savvy than the average male by a lot, for example. But the two are three most charismatic guys I know are more with it by far than any woman I've ever met.
^ I love this explanation. Probably because I see myself at the top of the male bell curve, and thus it completely makes sense that I am vastly more talented than all those around me. In all seriousness though, do you have a link to more info on what you mentioned?
since my statement was so general, there's a lot of data strewn about. but here's an intelligence-themed article that talks about it.