Stories that start with a sniff

Dogs-sniffing-at-the-beach

Is it true that dogs have a better sense of smell than humans? In a word, yes. Their noses contain about 10 times more olfactory neurons that ours do. But that doesn't mean that they are better at every type of smelling. Because of their anatomical prowess, dogs excel at long-distance detection. But … [Read more...]

Scentinelle, where are you?

Dear Scentintelle, I'm back from vacation, but you're not. Where are you? Are you coming back? Without you, life is dull. There is so much that I miss. All of those smells! So much complexity and surprise - truly a gift. I am changed because of you. I no longer judge smells as harshly, and … [Read more...]

Some prescription medicines dim sense of smell

oysters-may-boost-sense-of-smell-naturally

Some of the most common medications used by Americans cause zinc deficiency, including: the blood pressure medicines, called ACE inhibitors; loop diuretics used to treat cardiovascular problems; cholestyramine, which binds to bile acids and lowers cholesterol; oral contraceptives; stomach acid … [Read more...]

You’re beautiful just the way you are

you-are-beautiful-just-the-way-you-are

I was in the car stopped at light. A black Honda Fit pulled up alongside me. The passenger, a middle-aged white man, rolled down his window and flashed me a big grin. He extended his hands toward me, palms up, and shouted, "You're beautiful just the way you are!" He caught my by suprise. I was a … [Read more...]

Most Americans self-conscious of body odor

Most Americans are highly self-conscious of our bodies' natural odors, and we pay dearly to mask them, to the tune of about 2 billion dollars per year in the US.

The Scentinelle has a way of striking family and friends awkward feelings about their body odors. Some have expressed worry or shame that I will think that they stink. Others take precautions before seeing me--like not eating garlic, using mouthwash or applying extra deodorant--and then tell me … [Read more...]

Recalled atorvastatin (Lipitor) reeks of mold

recalled-lipitor-smells-like-miners-in-a-cave

The pharmaceutical company, Pfizer, has recalled another 38,000 bottles of its popular cholesterol-lowering medication, Lipitor, because the pills stink, literally. The contaminating odor has so far been found in two lots effecting 369,000 of the 40-mg pills. So what sniffs? According to WebMd, … [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...]

Questionable leftovers in the fridge

questionable-left-over-soup-in-the-fridge

It's unnerving not to be able to smell if the soup leftover in the fridge is spoiled or not. I don't remember how long it's been in there. Maybe since last week. It looks okay, but I can't smell for sure. What to do? … [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...]