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You Dream, I Design


Judy Bluhm

What does a nose know? Evidently, our sense of smell is a key factor in our overall mental state, physical wellbeing, and love life! It is intricately linked to memories, appetite, cognition and recognition. So when a group of men in a research project were “tested” on what scents they like on a woman, imagine the scientific breakthrough when “grapefruit” was the number one choice! Not only do men like the smell of citrus in general, and grapefruit in specific, but they claim it “makes a woman seem younger.” How much younger, you might wonder? Smell like a grapefruit and take off six years!

How, exactly, this research was conducted has not been disclosed, but it sounds pretty “fruity” to me. I did check out the local “lotion stores” and found that they carry a huge array of “citrus products.” Evidently, the “fresh” smell of a grapefruit is a more “youthful, sexy, smell” than the old-fashioned vanilla or lilac. I’ve quizzed my husband, Doug, on these matters, but he declines to comment on whether I appear six years younger when I slather on the citrus lotion I just purchased. Hmm, I may demand my money back.

On to other “nose matters.” It seems that there is a huge effort on the part of farmers in Nebraska to make hog farms “smell pretty.” In order to achieve this “new pleasant aroma” and perhaps settle a few lawsuits with neighbors, hog farmers are experimenting with a chemical in the hogs’ feed. To ensure that the experiment is “completely scientific,” the farmers are paying researchers thirty bucks an hour just to “hang out and whiff the pigs.” I’m not making this up, Dear Readers. Some serious-minded, science “researcher” is getting paid big bucks to “objectively smell” the hogs. I’ve heard of “stop and smell the roses;” but “stop and smell the pigs?”

Did you know that a town in rural Michigan has taken to handing out little “scratch and smell brochures” (like those perfumed pieces of paper given out in the department stores)? The intention is to let potential home and land buyers know that there might be some “different” smells out there in the country. Want to know what it’s like living next to five horses, here, “scratch and smell’ this! Thinking of buying a house next to a neighbor who has steers? Try the “livestock whiffer.” Imagine the endless possibilities in our own little communities!

The brilliant idea to let people “smell their surroundings” before they move there, lessens the “big stink” that occurs later. Evidently there have quite a few “smelly lawsuits” circling around that focus on what kind of stench is coming over the neighbor’s fence. Physicians have testified in many cases that the quality of life can be “severely compromised” by nasty smells.

While most Americans like to wear cologne, it seems that there are many “perfume-free” environments, which are usually work-places “protecting the smelling freedom of the average person.” Huh? What exactly does this mean? I suppose grapefruits are best eaten, not spritzed. To stink or not to stink – that might be the next question. One person’s sweet aroma might be another person’s nasal nightmare!

There’s a personnel manager in a small town in Texas that has required that all employees “be clean, smell nice and be free of offensive body odors.” When asked to clarify “offensive,” he would only say that he’d know it when he smelled it. A few employees have cried “foul” about this rule. Who can blame them?

When it comes to smell, there’s just no common scents. From citrus to hogs, I guess it all depends on personal preference…and which way the wind is blowing. No one really knows what a nose knows, but it sounds like we’d better wake up and smell the coffee…and hope for the best! Until next week…may you be surrounded by pleasant aromas!

Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor. Have a comment or story? Email Judy at