Smell that sound…

02008-04-03 | Music | 2 comments

the music of sound
» Sounds that smell

About one person in every thousand literally smells sounds – the general term is synaesthesia although that also includes people who see sounds, hear paintings etc…

Why one person out of every thousand can smell sound | Machines Like Us – Science News
Surprising as it may seem, there are people who can smell sounds, see smells or hear colours. Actually, all of us, at some point in our lives, have had this skill (some authors affirm that it is common in newborns). This phenomenon, called “synaesthesia” — from the Greek “syn” (with) and “aisthesis” (sensation) — consists of the pairing of two bodily senses by which the perception of a determined stimulus activates a different subjective perception with no external stimulus (in science, the evoker stimulus is called inducer and the additional experience concurrent).

Scents and Sensibility: Books: The New Yorker
So taste is mainly smell, and smell is a profound mystery. Why is it that one molecule smells of spearmint, while its mirror image smells of caraway? No one knows. When scientists create new molecules in the laboratory, they may know every detail of a molecule’s structure yet have no clue about what it will smell like.


  1. yumi

    Great articles. Wonderful ending to the New Yorker article.

  2. Carol

    And smells are impossible to recall…until you see again a similar source. Then you at least then have the memory of the memory.


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