Last May 2014, was held a colloquium on Olfactive Creation, La Création Olfactive, at the Sorbonne university in Paris of which French agronomist, as well as molecular and cellular biology specialist Roland Salesse was one of the organizers and participants. His new book Faut-il sentir bon pour séduire ? : 120 clés pour comprendre les odeurs, just out, is one of scientific vulgarization aiming a large public...
As its title indicates, this is a tome which aims to explain to the layman 120 key notions pertaining to olfaction as selected by its author. The list of questions it contains is quite exhaustive and sometimes unexpected. For instance, you can read "Who has the best nose in the world?"; "Why children don't like fish?"; or "Is there a leader smell?"; and "Could we pilot robots thanks to aromatics?"; or again, "Do pigeons "smell" the landscape?"
These questions are meant to both titillate imaginations and enlighten minds by asking actually very scientific questions in the sense that they come to question the most "obvious" things and phenomena that exist or take place in the world.
The questions selected invite you to think that a youthful readership might enjoy just as much getting such a playful introduction to olfaction.
There is also a chapter on olfactory language and one on more cultural topics.
The book is in French and available both as a hardcover and in pdf format, the latter which can be downloaded here, at Editions Quae.
Roland Salesse is the Coordinateur national de la Semaine du Cerveau pour la Société des Neurosciences and honorary director of the Unité de Neurobiologie de l'Olfaction at INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique).