OLFACTIVE VICES AND VIRTUES A few words against the inexorable decadence of the olfactory sense

People today, in an effort to improve their standard of living and their place in society, are more willing than ever to dedicate numerous hours to becoming more physically attractive, more socially responsible and more culturally acceptable.  They juggle their hectic schedules making ample time for the gym, for courses to learn a foreign language or perhaps courses that will turn them into the most discerning connoisseurs of fine cuisine and yet, at the very same time, we are growing sensorially poor in a world that concentrates more and more on the visual aspects of things. If man is a social animal, why is it that we give such little time and consideration to improving the most primitive of man’s sense, the sense of smell?  What does it take to understand that it is this special human sense which perceives continuously, that is the key that opens the most profound side of each one of us?

We judge many things by the various perfumes and odors we smell, yet we are word poor when we must describe what we actually perceive. It is of fundamental importance that we push ourselves to learn how to decipher and describe what we smell if we intend to improve our olfactive capabilities and reinforce the memories which will help us to give real value to the quality of life. If we pay close attention, in a simple way, to the information that our sense of smell collects, we can begin to appreciate our special ability to make an immediate, instinctive judgment, we can learn to describe fragrances with words used  to define colors and harmony, we can deepen our understanding of the human psyche and discover that the nose is much more than just a protuberance from the face. CMF