Many years before the emergence of the novel coronavirus [Thomas Hummel], a German doctor helped develop and standardize smell training for patients who had lost the sense, typically because of head trauma or viral infections. It involves sniffing four essential oils for 20 seconds every day over several months; some proponents of smell training recommend that patients recall memories associated with each scent—remembering lemon pie while smelling lemon oil, for instance.
What’s clear is that the experience of smell is not simply what your nose detects but what your brain interprets. It is top-down as well as bottom-up. What you’re actively paying attention to—or not—will determine how you smell. We all get used to the smell of our own house. But we can also learn, as sommeliers do […], to pick out specific scents.
Immagine da Pixabay.