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  1. #1

    Default Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Not surprising, but an interesting short article in the New York Times today that discusses a study on how genetics impact scent perception.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/03/science/smell-odors-people-scientists.html


    (This is the link to the study, but you probably need academic library access)

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Thanks for the link - I feel validated now when I chuckle about people having arguments about fragrance not realising how damn subjective the perception of scent is

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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Appreciate the link. Interesting read.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Thanks for the link. Would love to see something similar with some well known ‘noses’ to see if this ability to hyper-discriminate also has genetic predispositions, or if it can be trained?
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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Quote Originally Posted by Nastka View Post
    Thanks for the link - I feel validated now when I chuckle about people having arguments about fragrance not realising how damn subjective the perception of scent is
    The last tidbit (same chemical passed off as vomit or cheese to same people) shows that association is just as big as genetics or bigger - extremely subjective!
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    explains why some people love fragrances like Pinaud Lilac Vegetal and some people can't stand it.
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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Quote Originally Posted by masonjarjar View Post
    explains why some people love fragrances like Pinaud Lilac Vegetal and some people can't stand it.
    And Tabac shaving soap and aftershave which I dislike very much and others love it.

    This article helped explain to me why I can't smell my friend's giant dried bouquet of Sweet Annie and she and her friends can smell it from 10 feet away.

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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmorel View Post
    Not surprising, but an interesting short article in the New York Times today that discusses a study on how genetics impact scent perception.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/03/science/smell-odors-people-scientists.html


    (This is the link to the study, but you probably need academic library access)

    A new excuse for disliking someone else's favorite fume!
    yes, thanks for sharing! This is fascinating!
    Quite frankly though, I'm a bit surprised that some of these scientists (who were involved in conducting the study) said they were surprised by what they found. I'm honestly not really all that surprised to read this. (That people clearly don't all smell things the same way.)

    What did surprise me, however, is when my brother told me (just the other day) that chocolate kind of smells and tastes like dirt to him! To me, chocolate is one of the best tasting things in the world! Very much the polar opposite of how he says he experiences it! I kind of wish he'd told me that earlier, because now I know I shouldn't buy chocolate for him! lol! Maybe he assumed everyone tastes it the same way, and he thought we were weird?? lol! XD Yeah no..zero bitterness or dirt taste for sure! So..yeah..big genetic differences in smell and taste perception for sure!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Thank you for sharing and posting the link- interesting to read why fragrance perception might not just vary, but also for a possible explanation for it

  10. #10

    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyDragonFire View Post
    yes, thanks for sharing! This is fascinating!
    Quite frankly though, I'm a bit surprised that some of these scientists (who were involved in conducting the study) said they were surprised by what they found. I'm honestly not really all that surprised to read this. (That people clearly don't all smell things the same way.)

    What did surprise me, however, is when my brother told me (just the other day) that chocolate kind of smells and tastes like dirt to him! To me, chocolate is one of the best tasting things in the world! Very much the polar opposite of how he says he experiences it! I kind of wish he'd told me that earlier, because now I know I shouldn't buy chocolate for him! lol! Maybe he assumed everyone tastes it the same way, and he thought we were weird?? lol! XD Yeah no..zero bitterness or dirt taste for sure! So..yeah..big genetic differences in smell and taste perception for sure!
    What's interesting about your brother is that he's not really wrong. Pure cacao does have a very earthy flavor profile; the sweeter variants of chocolate just dilute it with dairy and sugar to smooth things out. But dark chocolate, especially in its more intense forms, will preserve that earthiness. Your brother just seems to be picking up on aspects of chocolate other people tend to miss.

    Personally, I've grown to prefer "earthy" chocolate to the more popular style of milk chocolate. I like its intensity, its bitterness and minerality. (In a similar way, I drank sweeter wines when I was younger but have grown to love red wines with flavors of rock and soil.)

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Quote Originally Posted by Brooks Otterlake View Post
    What's interesting about your brother is that he's not really wrong. Pure cacao does have a very earthy flavor profile; the sweeter variants of chocolate just dilute it with dairy and sugar to smooth things out. But dark chocolate, especially in its more intense forms, will preserve that earthiness. Your brother just seems to be picking up on aspects of chocolate other people tend to miss.

    Personally, I've grown to prefer "earthy" chocolate to the more popular style of milk chocolate. I like its intensity, its bitterness and minerality. (In a similar way, I drank sweeter wines when I was younger but have grown to love red wines with flavors of rock and soil.)
    Dark beer!!! And yes, I love dirty, bitter chocolate!
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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    You know..now that you guys mention it..I always really like the taste of chocolate paired with a rich, full bodied red wine!
    I've had other people tell me that you never pair red wine with dessert food, because red wine is not a dessert wine. And..it's very strong flavor can really overpower a lot of foods, if the flavors of the food aren't fully strong enough to match.
    But yeah..the first time I ever had a glass of red wine and ate some chocolate at the same time, I was hooked! To me, it's a really great flavor combination!
    So..in some way, I think I did pick up on certain things in each that seemed to mesh. Maybe I just didn't know how to describe them.
    But..with really pure, dark chocolate I would definitely agree, it is earthy and bitter. I actually dislike dark chocolate when it's past a certain percentage, I think the percentage might be 70%, or seventy-something. But..I think my brother meant chocolate in general..I think he's just extremely sensitive to the taste you're talking about.

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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Stout beer is my favorite beer type. Smooth oatmeal stout from Samuel Smith Old Brewery is a fave of mine. I’m crazy for Southern Tier Warlock Stout, an October pumpkin spice stout (instead of the usual holiday spiced ale). Too bad distro for ST is limited (apart from Applebee’s, where I don’t eat at) because they’ve got a creme brûlée stout and a Summer cherry stout I want to try. I’m generally not a fan of milk, bitter coffee, or double-chocolate stouts, with the exception of Founders Breakfast Stout, a quirky multi-flavored stout.

    Just as with single origin coffee beans, dark chocolate is nuanced in much the same way, with subtle caramel, vanilla, nuttiness, citrus notes.
    Grenadian chocolate is fruity and pleasant, even to dark choco haters. I tried a single origin Madagascar, and didn’t find its tanginess appealing to my taste buds. I guess I prefer the flavor of Madagascar vanilla over chocolate. I don’t like bitterness. My ideal pure dark chocolate ranges anywhere from 65% to 85%.
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    Default Re: Genetic differences in scent perception in the NYT

    Thanks for the info.
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