Magazine
Latest Issue

Turning up our noses

From Aristotle to Kant, intellectuals have delighted in denigrating the sense of smell. In doing so they have dampened the boundless pleasures of the olfactory. It is time we rediscovered our noses

By Lara Feigel   December 2006

The fallen sons of Eve Even the smell of roses Is not what they supposes But more than mind discloses And more than men believe. GH Chesterton, “The Song of Quoodle”

I plead guilty to Chesterton’s charge. Mine is a mediocre specimen of a post-lapsarian nose. As a fallen daughter of Eve—or, more accurately, a fallen granddaughter of a sharp-nosed chimpanzee—I am conscious of smell only a few times each day. I put on perfume in the morning, but because I use the same concoction every day and therefore suffer from what the perfumers call “nasal fatigue,” I apply far…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect