The Social Network for Innovators in Motion
My mother asked me when I was a child of what - maybe 11 - "what did I want to be when I grew up?" "Perfume," I replied. She said nothing. Now, I imagine how hopelessly impractical I must have seemed.
But I wonder where such an aspiration came from? For years living with the fiercely invasive smells of NYC, my nose almost shut down. Somehow my nose was very protective. But given my childhood ambitions and my mature inclination to shut down one of the 5 senses, I wonder what else did I shut down? What parts of the brain are activated by smell?
So I resolve to rediscover my nose and if not re-capture those scentless years, to study smell and the brain. To learn what kind of metaphorical perfume I could be. With a little reading on Anosmia, complete loss of smell, it appears I didn't have that condition - just a willful shift of breathing from nose to mouth.
If I had my wish granted, what would my life as a perfume be? I'd be largely ignored, though subtly making everyone breathe deeply and wonder fleetingly where the scent might be coming from. Perhaps this childhood dream is a desire to be Cupid. Isn't love often connected to scent. Certainly my earliest crushes involved men with a fantastic stink.
Helen Fisher, author of "Anatomy of Marriage: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray," has some fascinating examples of how men in Greece used to put handkerchiefs under their armpit and then wave it over the nose of the woman they wanted to dance with.
Hmmm... could one choreograph a piece with smell as a catalyst.