Ever since I was a wee baby, I've had a sensitive nose.
No, it's not been covered with plukes or spots, it's just been very sensitive to smells.
The Olfactory nerve plugs into the Central Nervous System in unusual ways, as it does not pass through the brainstem but directly into the CNS via the olfactory tract. This means that smell can cause the strangest reactions.
In his famous novel, all 7 books of it, (famous, but not well read) Proust talks about how the taste of a Madeline causes an involuntary memory to surface, but smell is even more powerful.
I cam across one of my late Mum's handkerchiefs in a box in my wardrobe, and just smelling her old perfume (Tweed), took me back over 55 years, to the two of us standing at a bus-stop in Glasgow, as she used the handkerchief to clean chocolate off of my cheek.
My favourite position to read in when I was younger was to cuddle up in a chair with a book, and had my free arm wrapped around my face, so the inside of the elbow was over my nose. I breathed in and out through my woollen jumper wrapped arm, delightfully inhaling the aromas of slightly damp wool. For some strange reason, I found it completely engrossing, and my family joked that young TSB had gone off into his wool coma again. I didn't care. The book was good and the smell was comforting.
This position also blocked out my Dad's cigarette smoke and my brother's farts, so it had extra benefits.
As an adult, my sense of smell was useful. On a night patrol exercise, I could pick up tobacco smells of the enemy further away than anyone else. I could also pick up the after shave and cologne smells if one of the Cavalry or Guard regiments was in the field.
|Oh Yeah, Very Butch.|
My sense of smell also saved my life, at least once.
When I was working in a laboratory, someone mixed the wrong chemicals together and produced Hydrogen Cyanide gas, which is very quickly lethal. It's the gas they use in the capital punishment execution chambers in the USA. If you don't have the necessary gene, you will never smell it, and even if you do possess the gene there's no guarantee that you'll detect it before it reaches the lethal levels.
|Ringo's next home (If there's any justice)|
I did smell it, shouted a warning and the lab was evacuated.
I wasn't the hero.
I was the bloody idiot who had added 200g of KCN instead of 200mg of KCN to a mildly acid solution and who released the gas.
I will quickly pass over the many repugnant smells I have encountered in my life, but they include babies' nappies, dead rats in a blocked drain pipe, dead sheep in a swamp and a sheep hut in Wales when used by about 200 soldiers as an emergency crap-house after a 7 day exercise on concentrated rations.
I will note that the worst I ever scented was when a bottle of Butyl Mercaptan was dropped in the lab. Think decomposing goat mixed with frightened skunk. It's close.
WARNING: ADULTS ONLY PAST THIS BIT
But the weirdest use of my scent of smell was all to do with SEX.
I discovered when I was quite a young man that even though I wasn't particularly handsome, or rich, and suffered from terrible facial inflammation and an even more terrible choice in clothes, I could score.
Not often and not regularly, but I had a secret weapon. My nose.
Not my nose as per Cyrano, but the secret weapon embedded in the olfactory tract. I had some rather unusual smell receptors.
I could detect when a woman was getting excited.
|The smell is there|
I still don't know, even after all these years, whether the effect was due to some stage in the monthly cycle, or to some other stimuli, but all I know is that when I detected the slightly sweet, slightly aromatic cent on a woman's breath, then I was 90% sure of ending up the evening in a most highly satisfactory way. And even better, not alone.
I never used these given powers in an evil way, and only "tried it on" with women I really thought "fancied" me.
In my 35 years of married life, I have never once been unfaithful to my Beloved, but every time I pick up the scent again, I sometimes wonder, "What if?..."
I would also like to add that I know of at least one bloke who had a similar ability. Ross S....... who used to work in NLHS could also pick up the scent, and we did compare notes, but not experiences.
|Never say a word|
A gentleman never really "Kisses and Tells"
|He could do it as well.|