Ackerman "Smell"

735 Words3 Pages
Ackerman defines smell as odors that reveal invisible information, in which can naturally or synthetically influence emotions and/or behaviors. Ackerman describes the immense quantity of information a scent can reveal: “[She] takes her German shepherd Jackie out for a walk, Jackie sniffs at curb, rock, and tree, and soon senses what dog has been there, its age, sex, mood, health, when it last passed by. …[Jackie] will add her scent…on a tuft of grass, and the next dog that comes along will read, in the aromatic hieroglyphics of the neighborhood, Jackie, 5:00PM, young female, on hormone therapy because of a bladder ailment, well fed, cheerful, seeks a friend.” (p. 26) Scents have the ability to expose this amount of information only when smelt, even when the information cannot be seen or heard. But it is not only an animal who has a nose so keen to grasp such information from scents. Ackerman recognizes a human’s ability to pick up similar information—information that reveals its story through its unique scent, also including a quote by Helen Keller, “Each person has an odor as individual as a fingerprint. A dog can identify it easily and recognize its owner even if he or she is one of a pair of identical twins. Helen Keller swore that by simply smelling people she could decipher ‘the work they are engaged in. The odors of the wood, iron, paint, and drugs cling to the garments of those who work in them… When a person passes quickly from one place to another, I get a scent impression of where he has been—the kitchen, the garden, or the sickroom.’” (p. 23) Helen Keller, a blind, deaf, and mute person, herself, relies on the unique aspects of scent in order to expose a person’s daily activities. Ackerman states that, through the outstanding power of scent and the information that scent can illustrate, people have given scent a purpose, whether naturally or
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