A bouquet of roses

In a fascinating 2020 study, researchers in Reykjavik delved into the olfactory abilities of more than 11,000 Icelanders. They discovered a genetic quirk that alters one’s perception of fishy scents. While this rare mutation affects only about 2 percent of Icelanders, it’s practically unheard of in African countries (0.2 percent) and is scantily present in other parts of Europe (0.8 percent). To those born with the genetic mutation, the fish smells transform into something more akin to a bouquet of roses.

— Read more in Been There, Smelled That: Can You Smell What I Smell In Iceland? at McSweeney’s.


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