A rose by any other name

Shakespeare got it wrong when he quipped that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Say, a perfume you bought was made from extracting the essence of both rose and jasmine. If a bottle of this perfume was labelled ‘rose’, would it not smell different from if it was labelled ‘jasmine’? What if it wasn’t labelled at all?

Soft-drinks taste different if you know which brand they are. A glass of Coke, by any other name, does not taste as sweet. That is the reason we slap brands on everything we sell. The presence of a brand lends its own flavour.

When you smell a rose, can you forget its name? Can you forget how it looks, where it is grown, what it is used for and all the myriad associations we carry in our heads about roses?

Once you rid yourself of all the baggage you carry about roses, can you bend down to smell a rose as if you were smelling it for the very first time?

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