The complex neural circuitry responsible for our sense of smell

The complex neural circuitry responsible for our sense of smell is the only part of the nervous system that regenerates throughout adult life. It is this ability that scientists have tried to exploit in stimulating repair in the spinal cord. Every time we breathe, molecules carrying different odours in the air come into contact with nerve cells in the nose. These transmit messages to our olfactory bulbs - at the very top of the nasal cavity, sitting at the base of the brain. The nerve cells are being continually damaged and must be replaced.

— Read more in the long but fascinating article Paralysed man walks again after cell transplant at BBC News. Hat tip to Kindcrow!

Shop for perfume

FragranceNetParfums Raffy

The bacon scented t-shirt

Bacon tee from Skymall

From Skymall (where else?), the Bacon Scented Ink Men's T-shirt, which promises "a crispy bacon scent from up to 6" away". The scented ink lasts through about 20 washes. $28 at Skymall. (found via ohgizmo)

Quite sophisticated

The perfumer’s trained nose could pick up a faint scent in the glass bowls, and declared acuta’s smell to be “quite sophisticated,” Simun said. It contained musk, green, and floral elements, as well as a sweet, almost tropical note at the end. Working with the perfumer, Simun split the scent into two elements—a fragrance, to be delivered to the nostrils using her smell headset, and a flavor, to be consumed as a cocktail. Together, she hoped, the two would mingle in a participant’s olfactory system to create a fleeting perception of Agalinis acuta’s scent as never before experienced by humans.

— Artist Miriam Simun gets help from IFF to capture the scent of an almost-extinct flower. Read more at Agalinis Acuta, Phantom Flower at The New Yorker.