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Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell
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Jacobson's Organ: And the Remarkable Nature of Smell

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  77 ratings  ·  12 reviews
According to naturalist and bestselling author Lyall Watson, we all possess an anatomical feature that could be one of the most important keys to unraveling the mysteries of the human mind. Two tiny pits located inside the nostril, long thought to be vestigial, Jacobson's Organ may in fact be an intrinsic part of our mammalian senses. In this entertaining and informative b ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Plume (first published September 30th 1999)
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Sam Berner
Oh, I knew that Arabs related large noses to sexual potency, and thought it was folk rubbish, but now I think otherwise. I wonder if there is a study showing that people who are heavy smokers and therefore smell less, tend to be (a) worse off in sexual performance and (b) dumber?
Well written book, packed with so many interesting facts about our complementary organs of smell- the nasal and the vomeronasal system- i.e. 'Jacobson's Organ'. The book focuses on the interesting aspects of this vomeronasal system across species- fish, toads, snakes, rats and pigs. It explains how truffles- those expensive mushrooms mimic the pheromones in male pigs- that's why sows are used to sniff out these delicacies. Plants too, seem to send out invisible odours into the air when herbivore ...more
This book is super awesome. I will never, ever underestimate my sense of smell again. But I also feel vaguely guilty whenever I use deodorant, so there's that aspect too. But still, this one got me so amped up on pure knowledge that I was buzzing for at least a week, talking off the ears of my co-workers about how amazing our noses and particularly our Jacobson's Organs are. I'm still waiting to write a blog about how sensory words travel through language. Fascinating.
Interesting book on the nature of smell and that mysterious pheremone-detector that also shares space in our nose.

Very psuedosciency, more philosophy and speculation than fact. He lost credibility well before he posited that ghosts are a particularly vivid smell memory and schizophrenics have psychic powers.
Absolutely fascinating and well-written to boot! I'd recommend this over "Smell: the Secret Seducer."

I did feel that the author went out on a limb by not fully supporting a few of his ideas, but those were few and far enough between that it didn't diminish my overall enjoyment of the book.
Oct 11, 2007 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
Shelves: non-fiction
Jacobson's Organ is an area of the nose, you dirty pervert. According to the author there is a debate over whether or not this organ actually exists, but he makes a pretty good case for it. This book is a great example of non-fiction that is a pleasure to read.
Jason Johnson
Good review of the role Jacobson's organs play in our secondary/ accessory sense of smell. (Technically, the Jacobson's Organs don't smell odours; rather they pick up on scentless, large molecules like pheromones.)
I only read about half of this book. The guy starts to get really boring and thesis sounding after a while. so I skipped through and learned some stuff by reading the things that looked interesting to me.
May 05, 2012 Jess added it
I don't think I'm going to make it through this one. It seems interesting by my mind's not up to nonfiction lately.
Interesting concept. Amoral and evolutionary point of view.
Vyki Englert
Must read. Keep giving away my copy.
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Lyall Watson was a South African botanist, zoologist, biologist, anthropologist, ethologist, and author of many new age books, among the most popular of which is the best seller Supernature. Lyall Watson tried to make sense of natural and supernatural phenomena in biological terms. He is credited with the first published use of the term "hundredth monkey" in his 1979 book, Lifetide. It is a hypoth ...more
More about Lyall Watson...
Supernature Dark Nature: Natural History of Evil, A Gifts of Unknown Things: A True Story of Nature, Healing, and Initiation from Indonesia's Dancing Island Elephantoms: Tracking the Elephant The Romeo Error: A matter of life and death

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“It is a truism among researchers into smell that all human subjects behave as if they themselves do not smell like humans, because all humans smell bad.” 3 likes
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