The fragrant waft of a black lentil dhal, the acrid perfume of newly laid bitumen, the delectable aroma of freshly ground coffee beans. Smells make the world a richer, safer and more memorable terrain than it would be without our olfaction in tact.
And we’re certainly not the only ones. Indeed, when it comes to olfactory fortitude, our abilities pale in comparison to some of nature’s aroma-detecting titans. Whereas human olfactory senses — and the number of olfactory receptor proteins in our noses — have been whittled away in favour of a large visual cortex, the truffle-foraging pig and the smell-a-rabbit-two-days-after-it’s-passed-by bloodhound have evolved extraordinarily keen senses of smell.