The National Geographic Smell Survey . . . 1.The Beginning

Two and one half years ago I could not have imagined myself standing  before the American Society of Perfumers and saying anything that could conceivably be of interest to all of you involved in the world of smell.

Two and a half years ago I knew as much about smell as the average person—that there are good smells and that there are bad smells. But that was about the extent of it. Smell was there, but generalIy unappreciated and certainly not understood. All that was to change.

When Editor-in-Chief Bill Garrett first approached me with the idea of doing an article in the National Geographic on the sense of smell, I looked at him aghast. How could you, I asked, do a story on somethtng that cannot be seen or photographed, described (what does a rose smell like), held, heard, or touched. The more I looked into it however, the more I was intrigued by the idea of tackling this subject.

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