Smell is in the Air
Since I’ve been working at a fine fragrance company, smell has been all over the news lately. Or is it only now that since I work with FF, that’s fine fragrance to you, that I’m noticing how newsworthy smell has become. For example, Monday there was a mysterious gas leak in NYC, the source of which remains unknown. I’m skimming this article in the Times about smell and I notice two odd notes at the end. Firstly, all the way at the bottom, there is a one  sentence reference to the city-wide PTSD that we all experience because of 9/11; any mysterious bad smell is associated with, well, something very bad. Even the good maple-y smell of last October was suspicious for those of us whose noses prick up at mysterious, unexplained, citywide fumes. Mass PTSD deserves more than what reads like an afterthought, no? Secondly, the next sentence is a reference to how things smelled in Steinbeck’s day circa 1950 on Cannery Row. Cannery Row, which incidently, is nowhere near NYC but in CA! Who did the research here? They couldn’t find a reference to the Bowery back in the day? Or NYC on a summer’s day? I think the opening of Chapter 2 of The Great Gatsby is even more apt. Actually, upon re-reading, I realize that it seemed smellier in my memory. But at least it’s a local reference.