I am a pretty nosey fellow. No, not in the usual sense of the word, even though I sit in front of a window looking out to an apartment complex with windows showing me quite a few facets of human life. What I mean is I value my nose. Again, not in the sense of pride; just the body part. It’s a vital body part whose importance is only realized when it is lost, like the handle of a zipper.
We are surrounded by odours. There are fragrances and there are miasmas. There are surroundings bustling with aromas and there are those devoid of any. There are natural scents and there are manmade scents (although we’re yet to learn how to make pleasant ones). Many of these guide us and evoke certain emotions. They are strong but ephemeral, and hence the sense of smell remains unvalued. The smell of coffee, the bouquet of flowers, the perfume of a lady, and the savour of food, just like their characteristic scent, produce a characteristic smile on our faces. And yet, the only time we think about our nose is when it’s either blocked or running like Forrest Gump.
This is not to say that no one ever mentions it. On the contrary, the nose is one body part that makes its appearance quite often in cultures, popular or otherwise. From Pinocchio to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, its length has been played with. From Himesh Reshammiya to Squidward, it has been used to create part melodious, part revolting voices. But you don’t often see people explore or highlight the one important aspect of a nose: the sense of smell.
When it does receive its share of limelight, it has its impact. One need only think back to Perfume, Patrick Suskind’s masterpiece. Even a movie adaptation couldn’t tarnish it one bit! For all the Adamantium that the Wolverine has, it is his keen sense of smell that helps him be on guard.
All it needs is a little recognition. Give it that knowledge and it will help you in more ways than you can imagine.
For instance, my nose gives me prescience when I’m about to try new food. The record has been unblemished so far. My nose identified the salts for me in Senior Secondary School Chemistry Labs. It got me that much closer towards academic safety. My nose helps me use herbs and spices without learning/despite struggling to remember their names. It has often helped me become satiated with pleasant satisfaction. My nose separates authentic cigarettes from fake ones. It has helped me evade passive smoking on many occasions. My nose has also made me smell farts when I’m wearing earphones. It has turned many a smile into a frown. It’s not all roses and butterflies.
Anyway, the thing that matters here is to be mindful of the nose. Whether you use it to make piggy noises or reload your booger shots, appreciate its sensory capabilities. It shall reward you. It is wise. The nose knows.
Dogs indeed are man’s best friend. They keep sniffing around, trying to show you what you’re missing out on. Don’t copy anything else they do, though.
Image from Confused
First posted on Agyani’s Stories