Neil Tambe

I'm a Detroiter who happens to enjoy writing, national parks, orange juice, the performing arts, and fanciful socks. More than anything though, I aspire to be a good husband, father, and citizen.

One for the little guy

I’m going to take the time right now to advocate for the most underrepresented sense of them all—smell.  Think about it, vision and hearing are givens, we think about them every day.  People always are conscious of the ‘sights and sounds’ that are around them at all times.

Touch, touch seems to be a big deal, for most of your life too.  When growing up, touch is the way that babies explore the world.  As toddlers, we continued this trend and grabbed things in our hands and touched them.  Dare I say I still remember the way my ‘blanki’ feels?  Even later in life, we embrace…hug, kiss, massage, pat on the back, hold hands, have sex.  All of that is touching.  Touch is clearly represented.

Taste?  Umm…food?  Everyone eats, with the exception of people who lost their intestines or like have serious digestive problems, and in that case, my deepest sympathies are given.  Food tastes good.

That leaves smell.  Sure, smelling a rose is a common thing, or grandma’s house…those are pretty token.  But as far as senses go, smell is the black sheep.  Smell just isn’t as common, or commonly loved as other senses.  Smell is difficult, granted.  We pass in and out of smell zones and adjust.  But, right now the buck stops.  I’m standing up for noses everywhere and saying that smell is just as awesome and as important for sensory experience as all the other senses.

First off, smell is very integrated to taste.  Our food just doesn’t taste as good if we can’t smell it.  Ever had a cold, you probably didn’t taste your food.  How unselfish of smelling, it helps out another sense and makes it more effective.

Also, think of how smell can help keep us out of danger, often overlooked.  When the rest of our senses are disabled, smell comes in to save the day.  Humans can’t see, hear, feel, or taste natural gas coming from the stove…they add a smell to keep us safe.  Dogs use smell all the time, to find bombs and bust people for drugs.  Is something burning in the house?  I don’t know, ‘do you smell something?’

Smell is great.  It’s a full body experience.  Have you ever had that feeling where something smells so good your entire body tingles?  Have you ever hugged a member of your family, and they have a smell that just is comforting?  I know if you have a dog you’ve smelled it.  I love the way my dog smells (I’m pretty sure he thinks it’s funny when I’m smelling him too).

More importantly though, smell matters with love I think.I believe this because of an experience I had earlier today.  I was hangin out with someone and she was packing for a trip, she showed me her perfumes.  I smelled one of them, it was pretty nice actually…but I uttered a phrase, and had a mini-moment about it.

“It’s nice, but it doesn’t smell like my soulmate,” I said.

Smell like your soulmate?  Wow.  What heavy stuff that was on the tip of my tongue.  It was kind of crazy, who thinks about what their girlfriend of their soulmate smells like?  But it seems so true, I think I partly fall in love with someone as the way they smell (or how something about them smells).  Some of my favorite feelings are smells linked to other people.

So respect smell, you might find your ‘one’ with its help.  And besides, smell does a lot of really helpful, cool, and useful things.So I don’t mean to say that the other senses pale in comparison to smell, but hey…respect the scent, it’s legit, and it feels good too.