Okay, let’s not discuss the shared experience of smell. As I said, smell is personal. Smell affects us emotionally—if we want to know what a smell is like, we look at our own reactions. Whereas light is about the surface of things, smell is about getting past the surface, seeing what is accidentally going on.

I was always nervous about accidentally eating bad meat and getting food poisoning… until I actually smelled bad meat. Man, there’s no mistaking it, even the first time you encounter it. I can’t separate, in my head, the smell itself from the complete revulsion I felt.

Code smells bad too. I’ve seen some code that made me feel sick like that.

I can’t give the smell idea without also talking about taste.

Matt Webb, S&W, posted and presented on 2006-06-01