The Smell Next Door

Oct 12 2010 Published by under Community

Truffles from Mont-Ventoux. Shared by Poppy on Wikipedia.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the ways a smell can help trigger a memory. Yesterday, I saw this article in the New York Times about a smell that's driving people away. It seems that residents in one luxury condo building are coping with a smell of a different sort: truffles.

The problem started after Urbani Truffles--an Italian truffle company--purchased a retail condo in the building and began using it to store boxes of the high-end mushroom. While truffles may be wonderful when served over your favorite dish, they're actually quite pungent. And it's creating a problem for folks who want to rent or sell--or just live--in the building.

The story reminds us of how personal smells can really be. Real estate agents, who are professionals at marketing undesirable spaces, are having a hard time masking this particular odor:

One [agent's] clients sold his 12th-floor penthouse in Gramercy Park after a bakery moved in and he couldn’t tolerate the odor of onion bagels. (Another family, she noted, bought a TriBeCa loft over a spice shop because they found the smell of curry comforting.)

Maybe the building needs to start marketing to truffles aficionados.

2 responses so far

  • Sherry Rivera says:

    I can add that the problem has been remedied since the NY Times article broke. There are some very happy residents at this point. My company and our strategic partner installed a system that has alleviated the problem. We are constantly checking on the progress and have had no complaints.
    Be happy to answer any questions.

  • Zuska says:

    The sense of smell is so directly wired deep into our brains. There was a building on my undergrad campus I could not stand to enter because the lobby's scent evoked memories of long weeks spent, daily visiting an ill relative in a hospital.

    A psychologist I once knew told me that of all the types of PTSD reactions, smell was the most difficult to treat, because of the "hardwiring" - difficult to intervene and circumvent the brain's reaction.

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