Among senses, smell is an enigma. But since "an astounding 1 per cent of human genes are devoted to olfaction," you cannot ignore it.
When I, with eyes shut, on warm autumn eves,
The fragrance of your warmer breast respire,
I see a country bathed in solar fire
Whose happy shores its lustre never leaves;
An isle of indolence, where nature raises
Singular trees and fruits both sweet and tender,
Where men have bodies vigorous and slender
And women's eyes a candour that amazes.
Led by your scent to fairer climes at last,
I see a port of sails, where every mast
Seems weary of the labours of its cruise;
While scents of tamarind, blown here and there,
Swelling my nostrils as they rinse the air,
Are mingled with the chanties of the crews.
— Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire (New York: Pantheon Books, 1952)
The most enigmatic of our senses is in effect the sense of smell. There is no doubt about it. It is the oldest and at the same time the most complicated of our senses. Stigmatized for very long and denigrated by the philosophers, who accused olfaction of being unappreciative and inferior, today’s view has become more rational. We live in a world where tastes becoming uniform and odors are increasingly controlled. Therefore it is important to make the smell acclaim. Let us rediscover the adventure of scent in the space of a moment, the magic of olfaction, more instinctive and intuitive than rational.