National Geographic : 1987 Jan
Members Forum Sense of Smell Asked for an article suggestion, I probably would have put the "Sense of Smell" pretty far down on my list. After reading it (September 1986) and completing the survey, I would rate it one of the most interesting, enlightening articles ever. Thanks for the insight to try the unusual. John A. Alden Remsen, New York Forest fires that can't be seen can be smelled. As one of hundreds of firefighters who mopped up the 12,000-acre Houghton Creek [Montana] fire of 1984, I can attest to being able to locate "smokes," or hot spots, by smell-even when standing in the midst of blackened acres. The smell of active, even smoldering, combustion is distinct and identifiable. David A. Forestieri Kalispell, Montana Can you imagine how it feels to have to take someone with you to buy a new perfume? To have someone next to you say, "Doesn't that smell great?" and you don't smell anything? To not be able to tell if milk is sour or meat gone bad without tasting it? That's my world every day. It is so reassuring to know I am not the only one. Perhaps articles such as yours will bring more research to help an osmics "stop and smell the roses." Denise Pipala Philadelphia, Pennsylvania My National Guard unit was deployed to Pana ma last year to construct a road. At 2 a.m. our first night there, I was awakened by guys telling war stories about Vietnam. Asked what was keeping them awake, one man responded, "The smell of green paint, the green canvas in this tent, the uniforms, the dirty bodies-this place smells like Nam. Over there, 2 a.m. was Charlie time. I can't sleep. I feel like I ought to be in my foxhole on alert." The odors even brought on a few night mares among our veterans. Gary W. Walker Pineville, Louisiana I have severe chemical hypersensitivities and en vironmental allergies, and my keen sense of smell alerts me to chemicals that trigger allergic reac tions. The advertising industry has brainwashed us into believing that natural body odors must be camouflaged, that for something to be clean it must have a scent. The number of scented products has mushroomed over the past decade.