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The Essay - The Scientist and the Romantic - The Stinkhorn and the Perfumier

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Nature writer Richard Mabey reflects on his lifelong relationship with science and the natural world. He ponders why we are all so good at remembering scents, despite their having little relevance for our survival. He tries to unpick how, as Marcel Proust famously wrote, fragrance and flavour 'bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection'.