/Gosh, enhanced smell can be a dangerous thing! By Alex Ogundadegbe
Gosh, enhanced smell can be a dangerous thing! By Alex Ogundadegbe

Gosh, enhanced smell can be a dangerous thing! By Alex Ogundadegbe

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My nose is so sensitive that if a person wearing perfume passes my front door on our street I will smell the perfume right from inside the house.

I worked with a boss once who would waltz into the office without being seen by many people, I will smell his cologne in the air and know that he is there! This nose is so sensitive that I can smell unwarranted private things too, which I am not at liberty to mention here.  One particularly smells like rotten fish! Some of them, I must admit, are not as sweet smelling as you want them to be.

No offense but it makes me want to wonder why anyone would want to eat certain foods in Nigeria. Some of them look much better than they smell really. It was food that set me off to writing this piece. This morning I was to have a dish of boiled yam with stew. The vegetable oil that was used to fry the stew had been spliced with something else. It took one taste and a couple of sniffs from me to tell what it was: Kerosene! Somehow Kerosene had crept into the half a gallon of vegetable oil that my wife had just bought. She returned it, and guess what? According to her, the dealer did not even raise one word of protest! My contention is if I had not found that out we could have continued ingesting a mixture of vegetable oil and kerosene without knowing it.

Sometimes the perfume I smell in public is so strong that I begin to sneeze at the slightest whiff. If you wear perfume, please go easy on the amount you spray on yourself.

Life is not all about bad or irritating smells. The wild has some great scents.

I once smelt wires melting in the house when nobody else could and it was a couple of days later before we realized that the change over box we use to switch to generator power had been compromised.

They say dogs know the people they live with by their smell. Well so do I!

I could visit the bathroom and tell you who just left based on the smell the person left behind. One thing I want you all to know is it’s a very smelly world so do let’s go easy on each other and keep the bad pongs at bay, allowing the good ones free reign. Well, aren’t I over doing this, some of you might not know the real difference!

One day I visited the mortuary. A person quite close to me had died and I went to claim the person’s remains for burial.

It was not a modern setting. Instead of modern refrigeration used to preserve them, corpses were on cots, fully embalmed, awaiting to be claimed for burial. The placed reeked of disinfectant and of course death. Yes death has a smell too. I am not talking about the revolting pong of body decomposition. That is different. But there is a dank but humid smell that comes with death that is not pleasant at all.

The times I have been to hospital have been scary for me because almost automatically, my mind begins to line up the smells and tries to distinguish them one from another. Wounds and disinfectant, various aromas of medicines and sugars that are mixed in. Even blood has a smell. Its spawns its smell differently depending on if it is fresh from a wound or old blood which has been released later than usual, if you know what I mean.

Perhaps I missed my calling. I learnt that there are professional tea and wine tasters and that people who have slightly heightened sensory organs can put them to use in such professional environments.

Life is not all about bad or irritating smells. The wild has some great scents. Flowers blossoming, newly sprouting leaves. Plants generally have a variety of smells, some quite interesting and attractive. A walk in a park with a variety of flowers and plants can leave you light headed as if you have inhaled a whiff of marijuana. Now that we have mentioned that, I can smell it from a mile. Those of you who smoke whether its marijuana or tobacco and think you can lace the smelly fumes by sucking a sweet or spraying perfume, you ought to know that it attaches itself to your clothes and your breathe easily and is very difficult to get rid of. I suppose those people who invented menthol tobacco understand that better.

If the tobacco and the menthol are deployed at the same time perhaps there is a better chance of reducing the after smoke whiff that attaches itself to anything in the vicinity of the smoker.

Perhaps I missed my calling. I learnt that there are professional tea and wine tasters and that people who have slightly heightened sensory organs can put them to use in such professional environments. Grading tea and wine wouldn’t be a bad profession for me but, I assume that after slurping and spitting out for a long time I would get bored.

Here’s to all of you who have bothered to read this. Try to avoid sweating when you can. It brings out awful smells from within our bodies. Flatulence, the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal can be quite a pong. So can a burp from the mouth of a person with indigestion. Gosh, enhanced smell can be a dangerous thing!  I am thinking of writing a book on smells and scents. But till then, I suppose this would have to suffice.