Through noses

An Egyptian pyramid preserves this inscription:

Anyone whose smell is unpleasant will be punished and ostracized.

It is one of the oldest reflections of the impact of smell in Homo sapiens, who very soon believed they were gaining favor with the gods by perfuming the smoke that rose from the sacrificial altars, from where our journey began.

The least valued sense of the five turns out to be the first, along with touch, that is formed in fetuses, and the only one that is inserted directly into the area of ​​the brain that manages memory and emotions. The researcher of the Museum of Natural Sciences, Antonio Rosas González, responsible for the Neanderthal burial that has allowed decipher your DNA, tells us an apparent paradox between his sense of smell and ours.

Bring the scent to viewers

Long before the screens spoke or received color, in 1906, at the Family Theater in Forest City, Pennsylvania, a businessman took advantage of the projection of a news program featuring dozens of floats full of flowers, to place on the roof of the Huge cotton balls soaked in the perfume of roses were living in front of fans that spread the scent. The attempt to bring the scent to the audience would be repeated over and over again without ever touching the success achieved in the novel and film ‘Perfume. Story of a murderer‘, without missing such peculiar experiments as that of’ Polyester ‘(1981), starring the dragqueen Divine, satire about a middle-class housewife with an over-developed nose. With the ticket you received a scratch card and every time Divine began to suggestively sniff the air, a number would appear on the screen and the spectators had to scratch and smell the appropriate place: scent of flowers, pizza, glue, gas, dirty shoes , the smell of a new car, grass and even feces, when Divine expelled gases under the sheets.

Women perfume‘offers one of the best interpretations of Vittorio Gassman, and smell has also been exploited by Hannibal Lecter in’ The Silence of the Lambs’, but the smell is still out of the world of sensations that the screens offer us … although for not too long.

A “bar” of perfumes

Spain is the second world power of perfume, after France, and the only country with a Perfume Academy, as far as Isabel Bolaños goes to sniff her “bar”, which treasures some two hundred essences that she tells us about Cristina de Catalina, an expert in promoting the work of academics.

The book ‘Odorama‘, by Federico Kukso, edited by Taurus in 2001, is the most recent cabinet of smelly curiosities, from good to bad, from terrestrial to space, which will not leave anyone who travels through its pages indifferent.

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