Two aspects that Dr. George Preti pointed out about non-odiferous olfactory molecules:
- We don’t notice volatile organic molecules unless they become irritants –they don’t affect/bind with olfactory receptors—
- They may be at below olfactory threshold because the volatility is at a very low level, ie, very few molecules present.
Note :Taste smell integration: can smell below-threshold if used with a sweetener as this is an integration (Dr.Pamela Dalton)
Thanks toDr Rocky Parker who studies the role that steroid hormones play in the production and perception of chemical signals. Rocky suggested that we use the pentatonic scale for the music because its cultural sound that is suitable for improvisation.
Also of interest is A Fruity Note: Crossmodal associations between odors and musical notes by Anne-Sylvie Crisinel and Charles Spence ..."Indeed, in a recent study, Mesz et al. (2011) asked a number of musicians to improvise short pieces of music in accordance to taste words (bitter, salty, sour, and sweet).....The words elicited consistent and reliable musical patterns."
It is what it isn't
Fugitive smells:Dr Glen Golden is testing the quality of smell, ie its character to see if its true that smells change their quality at different concentrations, eg cinnemaldehyde, diphenal methane.
Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris. This is our 'electronic' nose which converts smells into music notes. During my recent artist residency at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, Sept-Oct 2011 I tested the device on various compounds used in the lab to train rats, and on two types of mouse urine. The device is at the first stage of development. We intend to further develop this for art installation/performance. Thanks to Dr. Bruce Kimball and Monell Chemical Senses Center, USDA,, Chris Davison, Fulbright NZ and CoLab NZ
Cinnemaldehyde: when there are changes in intensity it changes from geranium floral at low concentration to orange at high concentration.
If this (floral—low conc)means that(orange –high conc)
And that indicates those (cinnemaldehyde)
Then after a while if you’re given those (cinnemaldehyde)
At low concentration, and it smells to you like that(floral)
Then you’ll associate this (floral) with that (orange)
Then if those (cinnemaldehyde) is actually half as much as that(orange)
Even though they’re the same
That(orange) won’t mean this (floral)
I asked Dr.George Preti about methods of training myself to detect unconscious and below-threshold human skin vapours, with a view to recognizing olfactory signals expressed by humans, like fear, disappointment, etc.
Note: MHC (major histocompatibility complex) accounts for 30% of odour.
In terms of science, olfactory comprehension seems to be gridlocked by the complexity of interaction between olfactory receptors and the odour molecule and so the central problem of olfaction remains: how the olfactory molecule manages to affect the brain, consciousness and emotions. The mystery of olfaction offers a new arena of discovery. We are all sniffing in the revolutionary wind of genetics.
Dr Preti prepared a GCO Olfactory Gas Chromatograph session so that I could use my nose to detect human skin vapours emitted from a column—specifically skin extracts from ten older Caucasian women, and qualify my experience of them by verbal perceptual descriptions
- Description: naming the qualities
- Perception: noticing the feelings that arose in me in response to them.
I was wondering which smells I would miss because the experience is not continuous its interrupted by the breath in and the breath out. I look at my notes about an ephemeral experience and the descriptions are all 'things'....
1.47 Dark granules
2.47 Moth balls what was she feeling?
2.58 Sweet soap how does she feel?
3.05 Cosmetic--Nivea cream ( faint). complex
4.30 Biscuits, sweet cookies
6.16 Tree bark
8.00 Match smoke
9.00 Corner of a room/dirt/old
11.58 disappoint .
13.37 Basalmic vinegar. disinterest
15.04 Old book pages
15.23 Vinegrette dressing
16.15 Air in a plastic bag
16.36 visual forms : music slopes
18.02 Vinegar in an oily frypan
22.29 Sourish in a bus
24.20 Stuffy air interior
26.55 Clothes, naphthalene
Warm heater, clothes on a heater
28.00 Wool carpet
34.00 Rain on wool/wet woolen garment
Hot heater/heating iron
Rain on hot wall
About feeling breathless
I feel breathless about being in America-- the accents, the expressions, the food, the architecture...
When talking about background odours with Dr. Pamela Daltonshe pointed out that familiar background odour is only noticed when there is a change. I realized that I was feeling breathless in part because my familiar background of odor had been replaced with the one in Philadelphia.
What matters to the sensory system is change and contrast, so when background odours disappear it gives us a feeling of ‘a diminished saturation of the world’ (Dalton).