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Till recently the world was full of interesting smells. The carpenter smellt of wood and the blacksmith had smoke drenched clothes. Quite suddenly we've lost a certain natural beauty and depth to life, where each tradesman and craftsman had their own 'colour' and their identity confirmed by their smell.

Suddenly in the developed world everything gets put in plastic bags and our personal human smells are soaped away with detergents –, we aim at being odourless or perfumed.

And in the middle of our civilised odourless cleanliness, all over the modern world, humans are producing a horrible new noxious substance, and we hardly seem to notice it anymore. I wonder how much the stink of petrol and diesel fumes have caused us to inhibit this sense and turn it off. I pity all those animals who are dependent on this sense for their survival.

Back to Chapter 4 : Smelling and Tasting