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The Biggest Missing?

August 13, 2017

An Anosmic's Diary

If asked to name the smells we miss most, an anosmic Top 10 would be fairly predictable. It would include things like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, or the cooking smells of food. Bacon in a frying pan was my nose’s favourite hors d’ouvre. Parents would likely bemoan an inability to smell their kids, especially babies. And those in relationships quickly become aware of losing something of their other halves. I soon realised how my partner’s body smell – a kind of odour genome – was so personal, intimate and ultimately, reassuring.

Yet as the years pass, I am increasingly conscious of what is arguably the Biggest Missing of all – experiential loss. Beyond what we try to make of our lives, a great deal of what we call fulfilment is characterised by our experiences of the world around us. The role of smell, while subtle, is often central…

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