Dogs sniff differences in identical twins

When parents and DNA tests can't tell twins apart, a highly trained German Shepherd might be able to, according to an online article in National Geographic. … [Read more...]

Man lost smell, then taste

Jason Feifer lost his sense of smell as a child, and shortly afterward, his sense of taste. To him, "vanilla is chocolate is peanut butter is custard." He shows us what it's like to dine in a resturant without these senses at Men's Health. … [Read more...]

Contraceptives erase natural odor signals

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests birth control pills and other chemically-based contraceptives erase natural odor signals that help primates select a mate. Now it appears that both men and women are effected, according to a blog entry by Shirley Wang at WSJ.com … [Read more...]

Sofa reeks of beach dogs and corn chips

Beach-dogs-head-home-to-the-sofa

I know my couch stinks like wet, sandy dogs. I've needed to wash the cushion covers since before Thanksgiving. I could smell the accumulated wet fur and sand from outside. But then family arrived, we celebrated the holiday and there was no time for that level of house cleaning. So instead of pine … [Read more...]

Surgical mask smells like burnt sleeping bag

surgical-mask-smells-like-burnt-sleeping-bag

Before leaving the surgery center yesterday, the doctor gave me a surgical mask to wear at home to keep the dressings clean. Breathing in and out of my mouth through the mask, I could taste/smell something strange. At first I thought it was the remains of anesthesia on my breath, but when I took the … [Read more...]

Septoplasty mutes the Scentinelle

septoplasty-may-stop-the-scentinelle

Today I'm undergoing surgery on my nose, a septoplasty to be exact. I have a deviated septum from breaking my nose at least six times in as many years. It all started with a waterslide incident on the first Christmas that I spent with my husband when we were still dating. And now it may become the … [Read more...]

Fresh vanilla beans inspire new tradition

Pods-on-the-vine-of-the-vanilla-orchid-Vanilla-planifolia

Vanilla beans grow on orchids, something I didn't know until a dear friend showed me the budding plants in her yard. Each year she pollinates the orchids by hand using a small paintbrush and hopes for a crop. Last year she collected about … [Read more...]

Cream and lotions spoil after a year

grooming-cream-spoils

I reached into the back of the medicine cabinet and discovered a tube of hair grooming cream. It wasn't exactly ancient; I remember buying it around the time of my wedding, which was about four years ago. The tube was more than half full. I decided to pop open the cap and take a sniff. … [Read more...]

Red twists sing baby powder

red-twists-vines-candy-smell-like-baby-powder

My husband and I went to the movies the other night. He bought a pack of red twists and tore it open. I haven't smelled the candy in years and was instantly transported to junior high, when I went on a summer camping trip with a friend. We lay around the camper for a week, eating boxes of … [Read more...]

Newspaper

A man sitting next to me on the train pulled out a newspaper. Not a smartphone with an app or an e-reader, but actual folds of paper printed with black and colored ink. It was fresh off the press. In such close quarters, not even my lemon lozenge and scarf could block out the aromas entirely. So I … [Read more...]