“Face-to-face interaction penetrates in a gaseous form into our most intimate inner being. The current Coronavirus outbreak surfaces a forgotten concept of communication that is deeply ingrained in culture: Face-to-face communication is a miasmic intercourse.”


“If olfaction were his most important sense, man’s linguistic incapacity to describe olfactory sensations would turn him into a creature tied to his environment. Because they are ephemeral, olfactory sensations can never provide a persistent stimulus of thought. Thus the development of the sense of smell seems to be inversely related to the development of intelligence.” – ALAIN CORBIN

“Smells are not decodable. Nor can they be inventoried, for no inventory of them can have either a beginning or an end. They ‘inform’ only about the most fundamental realities, about life and death, and they are pan of no significant dichotomies except perhaps that between life beginning and life ending. There is no pathway here other than the direct one between the receiving centre and the perimeter of its range – no pathway other than the nose and the scent themselves. Somewhere between information and the direct stimulation of a brutal response, the sense of smell had its glory days when animality still predominated over ‘culture’, rationality and education – before these factors, combined with a thoroughly cleansed space, brought about the complete atrophy of smell. One can’t help feeling, though, that to carry around an atrophied organ which still claims its due must be somewhat pathogenic.” – HENRI LEFEVBRE

“We see what we see, we smell what we smell and feel what we feel, and there seems no more to it. Experiences that make no claim whatever would be truly incorrigible. But we must allow in the first place for the fact that what we see or feel depends very much on the way we make sense of it, and in this respect it is corrigible.” – MICHAEL POLANYI