Monday, June 11, 2007


I need to make friends with an organic chemist or something. Because I want to be able to smell certain chemicals in isolation, so that I can identify them by smell later. Like I want to know the difference between putrescine and cadaverine. And I want to know if I am a super-smeller type person who can smell that one chemical that some people can't smell.

I don't know if I can actually physiologically smell better than average, or if I just notice/care about smells more. Like certain smells bug me to the point of being infuriating, even if they are not terribly strong in the air, and even if they are not "objectively" unpleasant (like not actually something that makes you want to retch; it's more the presence of the smell, as something distracting or that doesn't "belong" there.

Like we once had a house-guest who smelled up the bathroom. I don't mean he stunk or anything, it's just that his smell was around there so thick, and it was maddening. I took an animal pleasure in spreading my own effluvia (down the usual drains, mind you, not painted on the wall or something), hoping that they would do something to combat his odor.

And once, at a clothing swap, I tried on a shirt that smelled of I don't know what exactly. Partially some kind of strong laundry soap, partly mildew, partly unpleasant mystery. I bunched the shirt up into a cloth donut, in order to get it on as quickly as possible. And I had to force myself to put it over my head. It was like I was having a collar of foreign stench forced around me, and my body fought it instinctively.

I wonder if that is at all what it's like to get on a flea collar.)

I'd like to smell as well as a dog, but then maybe it would be too distracting. I mean, dogs can't help but smell shit all the time. They seem to be having fun with it, though.

It would be worth it.

I also wonder if the reason they seem to "enjoy" smelling shit, other dogs' asses, roadkill, etc., is not because these things actually smell "good" to them per se, but just because they can understand so much from them that it's a source of interest and insight, and not just "Boy, that smells."

Like looking at roadkill is not aesthetically a "pleasant" experience, but if you were some sort of rodent biologist, and by looking at the roadkill you could discern stuff about the species, sex, stage of life, health, etc., you might spend some time looking at it with interest, rather than just passing it by with disgust.

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