The Scent Expert

We humans use a combination of our five senses — sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste — to navigate the everyday world. Among those who operate without the benefit of one or more of these senses, the blind and the deaf have our immediate sympathy. But what of a person who cannot smell — an anosmic? Can we even begin to fathom her frustration?

Smell is an undervalued sense. When we can drink in the scents and odors around us, it is hard to appreciate how good we have it. Sure, we’ve all suffered from colds, which can make it impossible to enjoy a fragrant soup or, indeed, savor any favorite food properly for a few days. But what if that loss of olfaction is a more permanent condition?

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