The Sense of Smell

Beautiful by Estee Lauder

Smelly Facts

It takes two seconds for an aroma to enter the nose and travel to the part of the brain that controls memory and emotions.

A particular fragrance has the ability to stimulate intense memories and re-create experiences, regardless of whether they were pleasant or unpleasant and can influence the way we feel and behave.

It takes half a second for us to respond to a smell, compared with almost a full second to react to pain.

Women have a more acute sense of smell than men and this intensifies during ovulation.

Never try more than 3 fragrances in one go – you’ll overload your sense of smell and you won’t be able to detect new aromas temporarily.

We have the ability to detect between 5,000 and 10,000 different aromas.

It is believed that taking zinc tablets can help those who have lost their sense of smell.

Family members can identify one another by their scent alone.

Our sense of smell is most acute between the ages of 20 and 40 and then begins to deteriorate after the age of 50.

To neutralize your sense of smell, inhale coffee beans.

Head injuries, exposure to pollutants, chemicals, cigarette smoke and certain drugs can interfere with, even destroy, our sense of smell.

Our sense of smell is stronger at night than in the mornings (which is a blessing if you’ve ever walked into a shearing shed first thing in the morning).

Babies can identify their mothers by their sense of smell alone.  Within three days of being born, an infant will have made an olfactory bond with its mother.  This is why certain aromas can offer us comfort and a sense of security.

Fragrance Findings

Research confirms that people who regularly wear fragrance have a more positive outlook on socializing and may be more socially skilled than those who seldom or never wear it.  This is due to the fact that if others think you smell good, it gives you more confidence.  In studies, introverts have shown they prefer oriental fragrances, extroverts favour fresh, green, floral fragrances and the dreamy types are drawn to floral, powdery scents.  I think that makes me a dreamy type.

Why can’t I smell my fragrance on me?

The brain stops registering a smell after about 15 minutes, so it’s hardly surprising that if you wear the same perfume every day, you won’t be able to detect it.

Why does Gucci Rush smell amazing on my friend but doesn’t seem to last more than an hour on me?

The same fragrance can smell different depending on who is wearing it.  Body temperature, medication, nutrition, smoking and hormonal changes can influence how a fragrance smells on the skin.  These underlying factors prompt the release of chemicals through the skin which then interact with the scent molecules and alter how they smell on an individual.  This explains why a fragrance you usually wear can smell different from time to time.

A few days ago I sampled a Jo Malone fragrance – Nectarine Blossom Honey.  The top notes were amazing and I happily spritzed myself liberally.  The fragrance lasted almost the entire day and I didn’t love it.  The base notes of vetiver, peach and plum didn’t do it for me like the top notes clearly did.  Isn’t it strange how your body and sense of smell reacts to certain fragrances.  Back to my Gucci Rush gripe – why couldn’t Gucci Rush last on me almost the entire day simply because I love it so much.

Do you have a fragrance love that doesn’t love you back?