October 11, 2016

"Take a cue from the dog. Put your nose in things and take dedicated sniffs. Name the smells."

"Every expert smeller I met practiced it thousands of times. Pick up a bottle of perfume. Crush leaves between your fingers. I enjoy smells more now. They’re no longer good or bad. They tell me about the world. That’s as close as I get to being doglike."

From "Learning From Dogs as They Sniff Out Their World," by Jan Hoffman (my favorite NYT writer (see this)).

11 comments:

Curious George said...

Reminds me of a joke whose punchline is "I don't know but it came from shithouse door of a shrimpboat."

buwaya puti said...

I recommend going somewhere the nose will get plenty of exercise.
Manila in May is a good choice. So much to smell. Also adjust your aesthetic senses. This could blow in any sensory blockage.

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, is "smelly" your take on the current state of American politics?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Judging by people's reaction to Trump's grabbing of women, I don't think they'd take too kindly to me sticking my nose in the sorts of places my dog sticks hers.

Curious George said...

"Ignorance is Bliss said...
Judging by people's reaction to Trump's grabbing of women, I don't think they'd take too kindly to me sticking my nose in the sorts of places my dog sticks hers."

Trump didn't grab a woman.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Curious George said...

Trump didn't grab a woman.

I'd be stunned if Trump never grabbed a woman. I would assume in most, if not all cases, it was consensual. If there were cases where it was not, they were cases where it was no big deal, cases where the contact was sexual assault in the same sense that a pat on someone's back is simple assault.

SayAahh said...

Interesting post from one with anosmia.
You have my sympathy.

EMD said...

Went for a run last night. The cool crisp air reveals many more scents than the stifling summer air.

Lots of laundry being done around the neighborhood.

FullMoon said...

Apparently there is now a smell test for Alzheimer. Something about same part of brain ...

FWBuff said...

Thanks for sharing this article, Althouse. Our 15-year-old standard poodle is losing his eyesight and hearing, but his sense of smell is still keen. We get a lot of joy watching his delight on walks as he sniffs everything around him. He especially likes to smell the marks on trees and steps and signs and fire hydrants left by other neighborhood dogs. He always leaves his own mark in return. We say he's checking his "pee-mail".

Fred Drinkwater said...

Feynman, I believe, writes about how surprisingly easy it is to train your sense of smell to notice various things. He used the skill to win bets on things like "which book in the shelf was last handled?" and "which coin from this handful of change was last handled?"