My olfactory sense was alerted while pregnant but stayed on guard. After 7 years, it’s sharper than ever. I can smell the minutest scents, which means my taste buds are equally sensitive. In some ways, it’s a blessing, but I end up smelling more than I want to: men too interested in me, a married woman, unwashed clothes and bodies, not to mention bad breath. Smokers on the sly hide nothing from me, and no restaurant can claim a fish dish is fresh when it isn’t.

Phyllis A.S. Koch
Decatur, Ga.

I have always been extremely sensitive to perfumes used by men and women. On the other hand, I can barely make out some smells that others can’t stand, like skunk. Based on this, I must assume that the smell sense varies so much that, translated to words we use for sight, people are blind in ranges of the spectrum that are perfectly visible to others, and vice versa. It’s not a case of being smell deficient but selective as to specific odors.

Heinz Gf. Matuschka
Colorado Springs, Colo.