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This woman can’t stop to smell the flowers. But a gross port-a-potty is no problem.

Sara Feigl may not be able to smell the flowers, but she's totally unfazed by stinky port-a-potties.
Gabriel Spitzer
/
KNKX
Sara Feigl may not be able to smell the flowers, but she's totally unfazed by stinky port-a-potties.

 

It wasn’t until Sara Feigl was 15 years old that she realized something was missing. She was hanging out with her friend, who had just spent $12 on perfume. Feigl told her friend that it was a waste of money to buy water that had been dyed purple.

 

Feigl’s friend was confused by this. She said that it wasn’t just purple water. The friend told Feigl that the purple water smelled like lavender. Couldn’t she smell it?

 

Feigl smelled nothing.

 

Feigl said this made her think, “It was the first time that I really had to think of, what does lavender smell like?”

 

Again, nothing came to mind.

 

Feigl asked herself about other scents, “Well, grass, does grass smell? No, I don’t think so. Flowers. Do flowers smell? I don’t really know.”

 

In this story, Feigl tells us what it was like to realize that she had gone 15 years without realizing that she was missing the ability to smell. There are some pitfalls of living in a world where everything smells neutral. But, there are benefits too. “Porta potties, I’m amazing at going in porta potties," Feigl said. "They don’t gross me out."

 

Jennifer Wing is a former KNKX reporter and producer who worked on the show Sound Effect and Transmission podcast.
Gabriel Spitzer is a former KNKX reporter, producer and host who covered science and health and worked on the show Sound Effect.