Scent Doctor Rachel Herz Hosts a “Smelly” Dinner

Scent expert Rachel Herz’s new book looks at the connection between smell and taste.

If you’re an anosmiac, you probably can’t appreciate the glory of a bacon double cheeseburger. Anosmiacs, for those of us without a PhD in biology, suffer from the loss of smell. And according to Dr. Rachel Herz, author of The Scent of Desire and the world’s leading expert on the psychology of smell, that translates as loss of really good tasting skills.

Over a six-course, multisensory wine dinner tomorrow night at the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Restaurant, Herz, a professor at Brown University, will explain what’s going on inside our heads (and nostrils) as we eat. It’s an unusual event for the Fourth Estate, which typically spotlights more predictable celeb chefs such as José Andrés or Emeril Lagasse.

Herz and Fourth Estate chef Jim Swenson have been working one on one to make Thursday night’s menu, well, smelly (in a good way). Lobster-and-edamame salad with vanilla vinaigrette will be the launching point to talk about the use of fragrance notes in fine dining, while risotto with black truffles will be used to illustrate pheromones and adrostenone.

The event—Thursday, October 11 at the Fourth Estate Restaurant (529 14th St., NW)—begins at 6:30 PM and includes a discussion, book signing, and of course, the six-course dinner with wine pairings. The price is $67 for National Press Club members, $89 for nonmembers. Call 202-662-7638 or e-mail for tickets.