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The Scent of History : Throughline


WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 23: A young woman smells the blooms inside the branch of one of the cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin near the National Mall March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 23: A young woman smells the blooms inside the branch of one of the cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin near the National Mall March 23, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

What if we told you that the key to time travel has been right in front of our eyes this whole time? Well, it has: it’s in our noses. Today on the show, the science — and politics — of smell, and how it links our past and our present.

Guests:

Rachel Herz, adjunct assistant professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University and author of The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smell

Mark Smith, sensory historian at the University of South Carolina and author of A Sensory History Manifesto

Ernestine Deane, musician and storyteller based in Cape Town, South Africa.

For sponsor-free episodes of Throughline, subscribe to Throughline+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org/throughline


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