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  • NOVA: Mystery of the Senses - Smell
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NOVA: Mystery of the Senses - Smell


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Product Details

  • Actors: not listed
  • Directors: Larry Klein, Nigel Ashcroft, Michael Gunton
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 56 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JJ5F70
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #556,880 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Enjoy a celebration of the senses - a vivid blend of science and imagery. Sample a huge spectrum of smells, from the world's largest perfumery to sweaty t-shirts.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pontoffel Pock on November 7, 2010
I have not watched the other documentaries in this series, so I do not know how in-depth they are as a comparison, but NOVA's "Mystery of the Senses - Smell" was quite a disappointment.

I have anosmia (no sense of smell) and have a casual interest in olfaction. I have read a few books on the subject, and was excited when I randomly stumbled across this documentary at the library. However, I do not think it is worth the hour I spent watching it.

Small parts of the program are devoted to drug-sniffing and pheromones (though NOVA dances around the subject, using "aphrodisiac," "musk," and "pheromones" interchangeably - which they are not), though the majority of the documentary is centered on perfuming. The fragrance industry is undeniably an interesting topic, but it is NOT an appropriate focus for a program purportedly about smell. This is like a documentary ostensibly concerning vision only discussing photography.

Admittedly, research into smell has progressed a lot since "Mystery of the Senses" was produced, and there was not a lot of olfactory knowledge back in 1995 (the DVD was released 2007, not the film). A few minutes of this program deal very vaguely with the part of the brain involved in smelling, but if you want some actual in-depth information on the subject (and on anosmia, which NOVA gives no mention), I'd recommend sniffing out a different source.

May I suggest: "What the Nose Knows" by Avery Gilbert or "The Scent of Desire" by Rachel Herz.
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By First-Class Media on April 7, 2012
Verified Purchase
I was so surprised that the price is so cheap. When I open the mail, I found it says "the DVD belongs to xxx public Library". I was so confused :(
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on March 6, 2007
Like the other installments I've seen from the Senses series, this shows how the brain works with or processes smell. The taste episode covered France and Latin America. The touch episode went to sub-Saharan Africa. This episode visited the Arab world.

As I expected, this episode compared our inferior sense of smell to the superior sense of dogs. However, it showed that cockroaches have strong senses of smell and the Jungian in me just did not need to see a jar containing cockroaches. I will just take scientists' word that they are impressive creatures, but I don't need to see it. In the installment on taste, it was emphasized that our taste helps us avoid poisons. I wish this work spoke about bad smells. Honestly, one great thing about smell is how it helps humans avoid flatulence and excrement.

As a series for public television, it danced around sexual matters. At one point, they film a Thor-like male athlete throwing a javelin. The phallic nature of the scene is not commented upon. The female narrator says men have stronger pheremones than women. She goes into a locker room shower area, positions herself in the middle of bare-chested men with towels on, and says, "Yup! I smell men." Ladies, rarely does every man in a male locker room have on a towel. This scene almost had camp value.

This was the first installment which almost implied that a sense can be inferior to another. It was subtly suggested that smell is not as important as sight and hearing. I appreciated this because the touch installment seemed overblown. With the taste episode, I wanted to eat afterward; with the touch episode, I still felt no need to touch a person or be touched. This episode was in-between: I did leave it thinking, "Maybe I should buy some more colognes."
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