Engraved on the mind

Intuition tells us that smells are an important part of our inner construction as human beings because smelling something is always personal and intimate and today the facts show that she was right: all our lived experiences are inscribed on the chemical highways of our brains.

This idea is from Jane Levi and she presented it at the Gastronomy Symposium “Gastronomy: Past, Present and Future” in Dublin in 2012.

Levi is a specialist in food anthropology and a visiting professor at King’s College London and in this presentation she explained that “the smell is basic and primary; but it is also transcendent” because it helps us to have a deeper understanding of the experiences we live and of our role in them.

This information that we register when smelling can be conscious and unconscious, he said, and he encounters the great difficulty that we do not usually possess the words that are needed to accurately describe what smell gives us, and this removes it from our daily lives even being always so present.

Dr. Levy concluded that today, recognizing everything that smell gives us in our lives, can contribute significantly to understanding what it is that makes us human and how it is that we function day by day.

David Flores.

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