Olfaction is vital. It is a primal sense that allows us to hunt and gather food. As we evolve, we still rely very much on our noses; we can tell when food has gone bad by virtue of its smell. We can recall our best memories because of the smell of the gardens of our chilhood. We can remember our loved ones as their smells linger long after they have left. And, for some, their sense of smell allows them to derive much joy from perfumery, from the daily rituals of hygiene to the final touch of perfuming.
Therefore, it would be unfathomable. Bereft of the sense of smell, that chocolate truffle cake or orange blossom macaron would simply be…sweet. Green curry chicken would only be meaty. Potato crisps fried in olive oil would be relegated to salty crunchy papers devoid of the nuance of olive oil. Alas, how would I enjoy the mid-winter mandarins and clementines without the scintillating brightness of a citrus?
In a recent article in the Telegraph, Olivia Parker sheds some light on the lives of people with anosmia: congenital and acquired. Here is a glimpse of what anosmic people face.
Sources: listverse.com, templeofthai.com, gustoselecto.es, halosfun.com