Sorry, Kurt. But have we as a species become noseblind? Sissal Tolaas certainly seems to think so. A smell researcher based in Berlin, Tolaas works at capturing endangered smells, like the Douglas fir, as well as distilling scents like blood and metal for the fashion show crowd. Smell, she insists, holds the key to memory and experience. She fears we are in danger of losing that ability, as our world has become one committed to eliminating
smells and replacing them with cloying clouds of fragrance. Her view is that we now experience far too much via sight and sound, and that we’ve lost an essential component of our humanity as a result. “We breathe 24,000 times a day,” she says. “Every breath tells us something about the world, yet we have, essentially, forgotten how to smell.” Read on for more of her fascinating work on the human need to stop, and to smell.