Science: The Psychology of Scent

Smell is the most mysterious of human senses. Odor engineers need not only chemistry and physics but must also know something about history, psychology and sociology. This is the conclusion of a new book, Odors: Physiology and Control

(McGraw Hill; $6.50), by Carey P. McCord, of Detroit's Industrial Health Conservancy Laboratories, and William N. Witheridge, ventilation engineer for General Motors.

The pleasantness or unpleasantness of an odor is mostly a matter of psychological conditioning. McCord and Witheridge point out that workers in horribly smelly places (such as glue factories) eat hearty meals while surrounded by putrefying carrion, but visitors in such surroundings get...

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