Remembering Smell: A Memoir of Losing--and Discovering--the Primal Sense

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Jun 16, 2010 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages

In November 2005, Bonnie Blodgett was whacked with a nasty cold. After a quick shot of a popular nasal spray up each nostril, the back of her nose was on fire. With that, Blodgett—a professional garden writer devoted to the sensual pleasures of garden and kitchen—was launched on a journey through the senses, the psyche, and the sciences. Her olfactory nerve was destroyed, perhaps forever. She had lost her sense of smell. 

Phantosmia—a constant stench of “every disgusting thing you can think of tossed into a blender and pureed”—is the first disorienting stage. It’s the brain’s attempt, as Blodgett vividly conveys, to compensate for loss by conjuring up a tortured facsimile. As the hallucinations fade and anosmia (no smell at all) moves in to take their place, Blodgett is beset by questions: Why are smell and mood hand-in-hand? How are smell disorders linked to other diseases? What is taste without flavor? Blodgett’s provocative conversations with renowned geneticists, smell dysfunction experts, neurobiologists, chefs, and others ultimately lead to a life-altering understanding of smell, and to the most transformative lesson of all: the olfactory nerve, in ways unlike any other in the human body has the extraordinary power to heal.


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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - suefernandez - LibraryThing

I'm in a unique position to review this book, as I have also lost my sense of smell. When I saw this book was being published, I thought, "I should've written this," and I looked forward to reading it ... Read full review

REMEMBERING SMELL: A Memoir of Losing--and Discovering--the Primal Sense

User Review  - Kirkus

Combination popular-science book/memoir of a gardener who lost her sense of smell.The Garden Letter publisher Blodgett (Midwest Top 10 Garden Guide, 2004, etc.) discovered one day that her olfactory ... Read full review


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About the author (2010)

BONNIE BLODGETT’s The Garden Letter: Green Thoughts for the Northern Gardener, won the Garden Writers Association’s top award in its first year. She has written for a number of national publications, including Parenting, Health, Glamour, and Better Homes and Gardens.

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