I've mentioned before the superpower with which pregnancy curses me: an ultra-bionic sense of smell. Some of you thought this sounded cool when I did so; I assure you, it is not.
It is not cool to know exactly what is in the kitchen garbage can at any given moment.
It is not cool to be able to determine with precision what the person behind you in the supermarket line had for breakfast.
It is not cool to be able to tell from six feet away whether or not your kids have brushed their teeth yet this morning.
It is not cool to be awakened by the smell of old fish as the cat gives herself a midnight bath at the foot of the bed.
I feel assaulted.
In the very cool movie The Matrix, an artificial construct named Agent Smith (played by the fabulous Hugo Weaving) characterizes the human plane of existence thusly:
I know; he's a bit extreme. But I can identify, I really can.
I hate this place. This zoo. This prison. This reality, whatever you want to call it, I can't stand it any longer. It's the smell, if there is such a thing. I feel saturated by it. I can taste your stink and every time I do, I fear that I've somehow been infected by it.
Fine ladies in medieval times carried around scented handkerchiefs, pomanders, or ripe fruit to ward off the pervasive scents of the vast unwashed all around them. There's even an heirloom melon called "Queen Anne's Pocket," grown only for its rich, powerful fragrance (its taste is utterly bland; the vast majority of its volatile compounds are found in its skin, not its flesh).