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One of the images which always comes to my mind when someone is said to be ‘sticking one’s nose into someone else’s business’, or ‘nosing around’, or, typically, searching for something, is the fictional Cyrano de Bergerac.

Who?!” some may ask.

Why, the love-struck, would-be-lover, -husband even, of a staggeringly lovely younger beauty, Roxanne.

Edmond Rostand’s play features Hercule Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, a cadet (nobleman serving as a soldier) in the French Army.  Our hero is a brash, strong-willed man of many talents.

As one who, way back in my university days, became enamoured with the noble martial art of fencing and, thus, reasonably-skilled as a sabre fencer (thanks to my coach, an American ex-Olympian who medalled indeed!), finally, reality befell me.

It was clear.  Neither I nor any of my opponents could even hope to duel as did the fictional Cyrano.

Forgotten or never knew anything of this?  A brief reminder of Cyrano de Bergerac’s  many redeeming qualities:

Cyrano’s talents also ran to both poetry and musicianship, with a lute, primarily.
However, our hero’s gigantic hooter [an extremely large nose] drives him deeply into wounding, self-inflicted doubt, and to the heart-rending degree that he cannot dredge up the courage to openly declare his powerful love and adoration for the local beauty, Roxanne.

As he woundingly declares to himself, his ugliness denies him the “dream of being loved by even an ugly woman.”

Complimenting ladies for their loveliness, kindness, miraculous abilities, etc. can be really fraught, especially for men, and regardless whether they are related to or know or are married to the lady concerned.

Oddly enough, apparently in biblical times, the compliments towards women really flowed, or could, and with unmistakable definition, if not complete clarity, or not in today’s jargon.

“Your two breasts are like two fawns, Twins of a gazelle.
“Your neck is like a tower of ivory, Your eyes like the pools in Heshbon By the gate of Bath-rabbim; Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon, Which faces toward Damascus.
“Your head crowns you like Carmel, And the flowing locks of your head are like purple threads; The king is captivated by your tresses.…”

All that from the Bible’s Song of Solomon!

And in a very timely instance, it was not just a lady’s ‘tresses’!

Indeed, if a fellow plays it today as you read was the case yonks ago, the lady concerned may award you with a swift left hook to your nose, or, otherwise known as your beak, sniffer, hooter, honker, schnoz. You get the drift.

But think about wonderful aromas you scoop up through your nose on any single day, from that first cup of coffee (or, my beloved PG Tips Tea!) to the comforting aromas of your bedroom when you fall asleep at night.

We all know that certain people’s sense of smell is far better than others.  Then again, it seems that there are those whose noses are titanically-talented miracle-workers.  One such belongs to a certain lady in Scotland.

Woman smelled husband’s Parkinson’s years before diagnosis


When Joy Milne noticed her husband smelled different, she assumed it was tied to Les’s career.

She was unfazed when her husband, Les, began emitting a subtle musky odor.

He was an anesthesiologist who worked long hours, and Milne assumed the smell was just sweat. But with the change in scent came a growing tiredness that was explained by a devastating diagnosis six years later:

Les had Parkinson’s disease.

Joy would learn that she had detected it all along.

“I could always smell things other people couldn’t smell,” Joy, 65, told BBC News….  At a gathering for the charity Parkinson’s UK, the “supersmeller” realized other people were emitting the same scent as her husband.  She began mentioning her discovery to researchers who decided to test her theory.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh gave T-shirts to six people with Parkinson’s and six people without the disease.

After the subjects wore the shirts, they were passed on to Milne, who then had to determine by smell whether each wearer had Parkinson’s.

Milne made correct assessments for 11 out of the 12 cases.

In the one case she got “wrong,” she insisted that a T-shirt worn by a member of the control group had the warning scent.

Eight months after the study was conducted, she was proven right, bringing her accuracy rate up to one hundred percent.

The supposedly healthy individual contacted one of the doctors and informed him that he had, in fact, just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.

“That really impressed us,” Edinburgh University scientist Tilo Kunath told BBC. “We had to dig further into this phenomenon.”

Intrigued by Milne’s abilities as a “supersmeller,” scientists at the universities of Manchester, Edinburgh and London are undertaking a project to identify differences in the skin chemicals of people with Parkinson’s, study sponsor Parkinson’s UK announced this week.


[If this link above fails to play automatically, kindly click on it, and it should open]
[Parkinson’s UK and the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology are investigating new skin odor tests to diagnose Parkinson’s disease earlier. (Parkinson’s UK and the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology)]

Scientists believe that people with early Parkinson’s experience skin changes that produce a particular odor, the BBC reports. If they find the molecular signature responsible for the smell, it may be possible to develop a diagnostic test for Parkinson’s as simple as swabbing a person’s forehead.

As our understanding of it stands now, the disease is incredibly difficult to diagnose; doctors still rely on an observational technique developed in the early 1800s. Change is on the way!

There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system which causes shaking, slowness of movement and difficult walking as well as behavioral problems like dementia and depression.

Arthur Roach, the director of research at Parkinson’s UK, said in the announcement that in addition to having a “huge impact” on diagnostic procedures, “[The research] would also make it a lot easier to identify people to test drugs that may have the potential to slow, or even stop Parkinson’s, something no current drug can achieve.”

For those wracking brains trying to identify persons they ‘know’ who have had this disease, think of Michael J. Fox, the Canadian-born actor and his relentlessly disabling loss of control over his body.


There was also the late American boxer, Louisville, Kentucky-born Cassius Clay later adopting the nom de guerre, Muhammed Ali, whose demise was, perhaps, in part self-inflicted by too many rounds in the ring. Who knows?


Thanks to Mrs. Milne, her lucky physician husband can honor her as the loving bride whose “…head crowns[ her] like Carmel, And the flowing locks of [her] head are like purple threads; The king is captivated by your tresses...”.

Most genuinely, I write this in near-painfully total humility, or as one who, like my father before me, has a schnoz which smells zilch this time of year.  It, and I, rely upon Benzedrex inhalers made by a local Lenexa firm, B F Ascher and Co.

But, then again, this is not just a story about a Scots lady with a unique healer’s gift of scent.

Indeed, the first thing that struck me when I saw her in the featured photograph, above, was her eyes.

That look of hers gently, but very powerfully, tells it all!

“He’s mine, I’ve got him, and I’m not letting him go, anywhere, anytime soon”.
That sentiment, given what this wonderful couple has endured, of course, reminded me of heart-searing lyric: “Even in a storm, we’ll find some light!

But you’d rather hear it more tunefully, no doubt.

Please, don’t let this feeling end
It’s everything I am,
Everything I wanna be;
I can see what’s mine now
Finding out what’s true,
Since I’ve found you
Lookin’ through the eyes of love.
Now I can take the time,
I can see my life
As it comes up shining now;
Reachin’ out to touch you,
I can feel so much,
Since I’ve found you
Lookin’ through the eyes of love.

And now, I do believe,
That even in a storm, we’ll find some light;
Knowin’ you’re beside me, I’m alright.
Please don’t let this feelin end,
It might not come again;
And I want to remember
How it feels to touch you;
How I feel so much,
Since I’ve found you
Lookin’ through the eyes of love.

Reaching out to touch you,
I can feel so much,
Since I’ve found you
Lookin’ through the eyes of love.

Love, indeed, which proved that when ‘Hubby-Physician, Heal Thyself!’ won’t work, a very different brand of Specialist did!

Joy and Les, may all your storms be behind you!

The Washington Post http://wapo.st/1R0Kzk9

Fox Five News, New York City http://www.fox5ny.com/news/38389552-story
Website: http://www.fox5ny.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FOX5NY/
Twitter: @fox5ny

Parkinson’s UK: http://www.parkinsons.org.uk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/parkinsonsuk
Twitter: @ParkinsonsUK

University of Edinburgh, Scotland – “Influencing the world since 1583”
Website: http://www.ed.ac.uk/home
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UniversityOfEdinburgh/
Twitter: @EdinburghUni

B F Ascher and Co. Website: http://bfascher.com/

Manchester Institute of Biotechnology Website: http://www.mib.ac.uk/
Twitter: @UoMMIB

The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research                              Website: https://www.michaeljfox.org/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/michaeljfoxfoundation
Twitter: @MichaelJFoxOrg

The Divine Miss Melissa Manchester               Website:http://melissamanchester.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/melissamanchesterartist
Twitter: @melissashares

Looking Through the Eyes of Love Music by Marvin Hammlisch, Lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager

RIP José Ferrer (born José Vicente Ferrer de Otero y Cintrón) (8 January 1912 – 26 January 1992) as the definitive Cyrano