French novelist Marcel Proust once fancifully described the smell as "transforming my humble chamberpot into a bowl of aromatic perfume" but it seems he was in the minority as three in five people are unable to even detect the odour, according to a study published on Wednesday.
From data on 6,909 participants, 58 percent of men and 61.5 percent of women had asparagus anosmia, or the inability to detect the smell, according to the results in the BMJ medical journal's Christmas edition, traditionally reserved for studies that are quirky but scientifically sound.
— The Harvard School of Public Health adds to the body of research on the mystery of asparagus pee. Read more at Scientists sniff out answer to 'asparagus pee' mystery at The Telegraph. An older (2013) study from genetic testing service 23andme is discussed at A Gene for Smelling Asparagus in Urine? at Mind The Science Gap; for those of you who have had genetic testing, the SNP that article is talking about is rs4481887 (see Asparagus Metabolite Detection).