Name the losing sense

This is purely hypothetical, but what if you knew you were going to lose one sense as you get older and you could choose it now? Which sense would you pick to lose? … [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...]

Septoplasty mutes 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...]

Smelling the past

I cracked open an ancient text, my high school yearbook. The pages appear in black and white, except for the color senior photos, which I was that year. Smiling teens with big hair later scribbled messages bidding me to "have fun" and "good luck".  A long-forgotten aroma of art class escaped the … [Read more...]

Stew season

With cooler weather upon us, it's the perfect time of year to break out the enameled cast iron pot and make some stew. So tonight I did just that and made a stew of lamb with fennel, root veggies and the oniony figs from last week. My kitchen smells as cozy as a campfire. Turns out I'm not the … [Read more...]

What the fig?

A neighbor invited me to a potluck dinner. I arrive, armed with a veggie stir fry and curious what my new neighbors like to eat. The hostess explains that most of the produce at this evening's fete comes from a nearby organic farm. I glance down the long folding table: plates of styled fruits and … [Read more...]

Sniffing a friend’s new house

If only the walls could talk. A friend recently bought a new house. She invites me over to sniff around, check the place out and make sure the clean up crew did a proper job. I reluctantly agree to dispatch the Scentinelle to the scene; not everyone really wants to know. My first stop is the … [Read more...]

Flowering yellow ginger

Yellow ginger grows wild in Hawaii; the equivalent of wild daisies on the Mainland. The delicate yellow flowers last only a week or so and billow an exotic scent. I smell this unmistakable aroma coming from my yard here in San Diego, an ocean away from where I expect to find it. I locate the plants … [Read more...]

Decaf coffee surprise

Riddle: What do decaf coffee and skunk musk have in common? Answer: High concentrations of mercaptans Shuffling through a major health food store, I turn down the coffee aisle and pass the open bins of beans. I always swing through for the nose candy before I hit the check out. But this time I … [Read more...]

Tail of woe

Around the crack of dawn I was dreaming about sliding across a wood floor in my socks in an Adam-Sandler-does-ballet kind of way, when into the dream slunk a skunk. I stop sliding and stare at the furry black creature whose stubby legs reminded me of corgies, those Scottish herding dogs upon whom … [Read more...]