Nose Dive

Nose Dive

A Field Guide to the World’s Smells

Can you tell when someone smells sick or a food has spoiled? Take a deep dive into the world of smells around us—from the ordinary smell of formaldehyde from our keyboard to the delights of spice, floral, and cooking foods. The author familiarizes us with the bits of matter that trigger our perceptions like the citrusy smells of coriander and beer, and the medicinal smells of daffodils and sea urchins.

Written by Harold McGee, the author of the James Beard award-winning book, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen. Since 2010 he has been the visiting lecturer for Harvard University’s course, Science & Cooking.


Perfect for foodies, those interested in science, and the innately curious. Engagingly written, this would be a wonderful ready reference to have on hand. — Library Journal

A tour-de-force . . . a superbly written odyssey around an underrated sense. —Financial Times
The reference book that will make everything you eat seem more interesting. There is fascination and delight on every page. — The Sunday Times (UK)

My own personal sense of smell will never be the same after reading this amazing book. – Susan Rhoads 2/22

Harold McGee, Food Writer
Course Expiration Date: May-31-2024
Product Name

Book Only (2130)

Regular price $30.00 $30.00

15 CE Paper Test Only (2131)

Regular price $120.00

26 CE Paper Test Only (2132)

Regular price $140.00

15 CE Book & Paper Test (2133)

Regular price $145.00

26 CE Book & Paper Test (2134)

Regular price $165.00

15 CE Online Test Only (W2131)

Regular price $120.00

26 CE Online Test Only (W2132)

Regular price $140.00

15 CE Book & Online Test (W2133)

Regular price $145.00

26 CE Book & Online Test (W2134)

Regular price $165.00

Book Details

Author Harold McGee, Food Writer
Year Published 2020
Edition 1st Edition
Publisher Penguin Press
ISBN 978-1594203954
Format Hardback
Page Count 688

Course Objectives

Level 2 & 3 CPE 

Suggested Performance Indicators: 1.2.1, 4.2.7, 6.2.5, 6.3.9, 8.3.2, 8.4.2, 8.4.4, 13.2.3

CPE Type: 720 for Printed/Paper Tests, 740 for Web-based/Online Tests

Upon successful completion, the users will be able to:

1. Compare the flavor image, flavor wheel, and gas chromatography-olfactometry, and discuss how they bring clarity to smells.

2. Name the three simplest molecules for which humans have smell receptors.

3. Identify the four-starter set carbon-chain volatiles and the primary smells of each.

4. Identify the one defining amino element that characterizes animal smell. 

5. Identify the core volatiles responsible for and how they create the smells of animal excrement, barnyard, and wet dog.

6. Discuss how animals’ scent-mark a carcass, the volatiles included, the messages it sends, and also how humans use those scents.

7. Discuss four smells that can come from the human body and that can be used to assess health.

8. Identify the six-carbon-chain molecule emitted by most plants and associated with the color, green.

9. Describe where you would find the following: lactones, terpenoids, linalool, esters, benzene rings.

10. List four foods or beverages that have their flavors altered using woods.

11. Name four ways a cook can alter the smell of herbs for cooking or beverages.

12. Name the most important molecule responsible for the aroma of fruits.

13. Identify the original name given to the smell of fresh soil, wet stone, or minerality.

14. List the four main volatiles of seawater.

15. Name the molecule responsible for a “fishy” smell and 2 ways the smell can be overcome.

16. Name the most effective general method of extracting volatiles.

17. List the most common flowers (three), animal substances (two) and most common fruit used in perfumery.

18. List the four main bouquets of cooked volatiles.

19. Recognize and name the bouquets of soiled and spoiled foods.

20. Name the characteristic milk-fat volatile.

Recommended For...

Registered Dietitian (RD/RDN)
Dietetics Technician Registered (DTR/NDTR)
Registered Nurse (RN)
Integrative & Functional Nutrition Academy Professional
American College of Sports Medicine

Why We Chose This Book

The author, Harold McGee, is one of the most respected food writers in the US. He is known for his depth of research and interesting style of writing. As food professionals, learning more about the sense of smell and how humans use it should be important, especially for culinary specialists.

About the Author

Harold McGee, author of the James Beard award-winning book, On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, and since 2010 he has been the visiting lecturer in Harvard University’s course, Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science. Former columnist for The New York Times, he has been named food writer of the year by Bon Appétit magazine and Time magazine’s annual list of Top 100 influential people.