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July 29, 2020 / Congau


Beauty has no smell. It is strictly for the eyes and for the ears. Therefore art is visual and music conveys feelings through sound. The art of cooking hardly addresses the faculty of the soul that is receptive of beauty, and the fragrance of a good meal disappears from consciousness soon after it is devoured. The seed of an idea is either seen or heard.

Yet a scent does create feelings and it may remind us of ideas that we have previously had, and then it may occur that it evokes a deeper sense of beauty. A memory from a forgotten past is sometimes brought back when an invisible aroma reaches our nostrils. It is then as if a thought is appearing from nowhere, implanted in the mind by what might have been a hidden spirit – a triviality redolent of importance.

The fifth sense holds the lowest position among our strings of connection to the world. But it also suggests a path to a sixth sense if there is such a thing. Seeing provides a rather certain knowledge and it’s easy to believe what you hear. What you touch is clearly tangible, and taste is something definite to chew on. But a smell is in the air, reminiscent of something but unproductive of certain knowledge. It’s a vague intuition, not very credible but capable of distant leaps.

Je ne sais quoi – I know not what. Well, if you don’t know, you have no idea, and there is nothing to think about and nothing to talk about. But the redolence of something can carry you back to a place where an idea is found, and there the vagueness can transform into clarity. Just let yourself be carried along, sniff the air and absorb it, feel it and then fly away. Smell the beauty.

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