Or if they don’t know, they ought to. What they ought to know is that olefactory sensory input goes straight to the limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotional processing and response.
This differs from any other sensory system, though they all eventually have projections to the limbic system. Any visual input, for instance, is first processed by a myriad of systems within the visual cortex before relevant parts are sent in for emotional processing.
This explains why I still get a little nostalgic whenever I notice a slight trace of Calvin Klein One. No matter how much of an asshole He had turned out to be.
This morning the world had this particular scent of freedom promised but never delivered. A haunting scent, I remember wanting to buck the system when first smelling it at fourteen years of age. Not only captivating, but also disorienting, I find myself transported to the desert, to the side of a highway. There’s a mail truck, and Siamese Dream is playing on the stereo. Maybe we decide to paint the truck a variety of different colors. Maybe we just lie around in the dust and watch the clouds float on. They’re moving really quickly now, and one looks like those giraffes painted on the columns at the intersection of Harrison and Santa Clara Avenue. Our picnic lunch of Coronas, mushroom chocolates and cucumber sandwhiches is chilling in the foreign mail bin. Now? No, let’s enjoy the clouds a little more.
In high school I would stare out the classroom window, day dreaming til the bell might ring and I could gallavant my way home through parks and malls and daisy chains.
College was the best: countless discussion sections abandoned. Now that was freedom. I didn’t need daisy chains. I had made countless friends from books and acquaintances. Life was good.
And today…well, luckily for me, today I’m trapped in an office where the smell can’t reach me. That’s how they keep us down. Seriously, yo.