Harold McGee writes about the science of food and cooking. He is the author of the award-winning classic "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen and Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes," and a former columnist for The New York Times. He has been named food writer of the year by Bon Appétit magazine and to the Time 100, an annual list of the world's most influential people. Since 2010, he has been a visiting lecturer for Harvard University's course "Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science."
In his new book "Nose Dive," he takes us on a sensory-filled adventure, from the sulfurous nascent earth more than four billion years ago, to the sweetly fragrant Tian Shan mountain range north of the Himalayas, to the keyboard of your laptop, where trace notes of formaldehyde escape between the keys. We'll sniff the ordinary (wet pavement and cut grass) and extraordinary (fresh bread and chocolate), the delightful (roses and vanilla) and the unpleasant (spoiled meat and rotten eggs). We'll smell each other. We'll smell ourselves.