The nose has it: it’s no surprise humans’ sense of smell can be as good as dogs’ | Sarah McCartney

The nose has it: it’s no surprise humans’ sense of smell can be as good as dogs’ | Sarah McCartney

The nose has it: it’s no surprise humans’ sense of smell can be as good as dogs’ | Sarah McCartney 150 150 icnagency

By: Sarah McCartney | The nose has it: it’s no surprise humans’ sense of smell can be as good as dogs’ | Sarah McCartney | Neuroscience | The Guardian

Being a professional perfumer I understand the potential of our olfactory skills. And it’s amazing what you can achieve with practice

I’ve spent 20 years learning to recognise different aromas; I make perfume for a living, and I run workshops to guide people around the world of fragrance. Apart from those whose sense of smell is irreparably damaged, we humans get better with practice pretty quickly. Even people who believe they have a terrible sense of smell are often good at it. That’s why I wasn’t surprised to read that, despite what many believe, human noses rival those of dogs and rodents.

Developing our sense of smell is similar to the way we get better at identifying sounds. If you haven’t listened to a lot of music, you’ll have a hard time spotting the difference between a clarinet and an oboe, mandolin or guitar, tabla or congas. As soon as you practise listening and see the instruments being played, you improve.

Related: Not to be sniffed at: human sense of smell rivals that of dogs, says study

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