But that's not what I'm perceiving. What I mean is, "It's good to smell you again," and "How are you? You smell good," and, "Are you feeling better? Your sweat is better." Especially that last. Sweat is on the list of things we are Not To Notice, apparently.
And you can say, "Oh, it's good to finally match a name with a face!" But if you say, "Oh, it's good to finally match a name with a smell!", things will become very swiftly alarming from that point. Possibly for both of you.
And if you say to your friend, "It was nice to meet your sweetie in person, and I can kind of smell what you smell in him/her," that's not good either. Even though if you said, "I can see what you see in him/her," no one would assume that you meant, "I have noticed the visual appeal of your sweetheart but no other, non-visual traits." "I see why you want to go out with him/her," comes out very different from, "I smell why."
All the ways I can think of to say this in English end up sounding like they are comments either on attractiveness in more detail than people expect to hear it in non-romantic relationships or else on basic hygiene standards. Switching from "you smell good" to "you smell all right" makes people feel like a packet of lunchmeat or a gallon of milk: "Has so-and-so gone south?" "Give her here. Nope, smells all right to me."
It's a different data set, is the thing. One misses things the other catches, and vice versa. And I'm sure there are things my eyes are technically catching that my brain is not processing consciously, just as there are probably things many people smell that they're not processing consciously. But having some sense of which is which seems like it might be useful. Reporting in that I see something I don't see at all seems perilous.
It seems that as people get to know me better, I can say more of this kind of thing and they will be used to it more. So this is a good trend. I am less careful than I was about trying to hide smelling things. I have reassured a number of people that a fair amount of what I smell is neutral to me, that it's not a bad thing to smell a moderate amount of what someone had for dinner or that they are a little stressed. I am still somewhat careful when it comes to attractive members of the opposite sex, though, and as I am geek-oriented, this comes up a lot in the social settings I'm most likely to be in.
I'm pretty sure some of you are as sound-oriented as I am smell-oriented: do you have this trouble at all?
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