There is always something sensual about the scent of the opposite sex -- or more particularly, the aroma he's wearing. On the streets, I pass by a man and often find myself glancing back, not because I've been struck by his looks but because I've caught a faint whiff of his cologne. The intoxicating scent is enough for me to close my eyes, if only for a second, and then walk into a lamppost.

But on the other hand, there are times when I've felt annoyed, even assaulted, by strong scents that make my nose burn and my stomach churn. This often happens when a person overdoes it and douses himself in perfume -- and it's especially horrific when you're stuck with him in a small, closed area like a train, an elevator or a restaurant. It can also be a turnoff at work when you're trying to concentrate and someone walks in wearing perfume that is so cloying and musky, and should only be allowed in discos.

This is where perfume sommelier Kazutoshi Kato comes in.