The falls of Possum Hollow:
An apocryphal yarn has the linguistically fastidious, but physically filthy 18th century English writer Dr Sam Johnson entering a carriage to sit beside a noblewoman.
"Dr. Johnson, you smell," she politely complained.
"No, Madam," he said. "You smell. I stink."
Bold new science is revealing that the human body is riddled with the sorts of olfactory receptors which we always thought were limited to our nasal cavities. Now we know these stink detectors are all over us and all through us, as common as the Doctor's offending sweat glands. These clever little aroma laboratories constantly monitor our condition and our safety: it appears that as they smell and sniff, they play a major part in monitoring and controlling all our major organs.
And there I was, detecting it as a toddler in cow tucker.
But even as an infant on my grandfather's mighty shoulders, I seemed to realise that the sensation offered by such a lush environment was more than aromatic. It was a rich, overwhelmingly natural feeling that came in through every pore. Its hypnotic seduction was more than enough to explain why little boys tended to wander off through the dense understorey in search of that secure, mystical nirvana called Lost.
Few such intoxicated, curious pioneers came back.
Amongst these and many other wonders, Stone reports that in June 2009, the USA National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health Journal of Biological Chemistry published a paper that showed that when exposed to the odorant beta-ionone, olfactory receptors in human testes reduced cancer cell proliferation. Beta-ionone is a primary factor in the bouquets of roses and violets, aromas which I just happen to find in some of the most beautiful wines.