Aromas have always been a part of life and living. Since times unknown aromas have been consumed to ignite, excite, relax, rejuvenate and pacify our emotions and make us feel more lively and happy.
Ask a chef the importance of aromas in food or a monk who is trying to connect to the cosmic force. A young man trying to impress his date or temple preparing for an aarti. Aromas have always fascinated mankind and perhaps will continue to do so and also you might be surprised to know, how important a role, your sense of smell plays in your day-to-day decisions, emotions, and memories.
We have learned to woo almost anyone by managing smells and aromas in various places of interaction. be it our homes or work spaces. Why is our sense of smell so important? Here I share with you 5 ways smell influences your everyday life.
- Smell and Memory
A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people’s moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it’s sometimes called the “emotional brain,” smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously
Studies have shown that people can remember a scent with 65% accuracy after 1 year while visual memory sinks to 50% after only a few months. The smells we experience play a crucial role in how we associate with memories and places. Have you ever come across a whiff of something that instantly takes you back to an old memory? Whether it reminds you of your mother’s cooking or a childhood trip to the ocean, a distinctive scent sinks into your brain and stays there.
- Smell and Emotion
Smells can evoke strong emotional reactions. In surveys on reactions to odours, responses show that many of our olfactory likes and dislikes are based purely on emotional associations. The part of the brain that smells and tastes is part of the emotional brain where our personality lies,” says Dr. Hirsch in an interview with Men’s Health last November.
- Smell and Time
Dr. Hirsch has also led studies into the way that smells can influence our perception of time. In one of the studies, 20 separate participants were exposed to a baby powder aroma, a coffee aroma, and no aroma at all. While the coffee aroma produced a reduced perception of time, the baby powder aroma produced a longer perception of time. Likewise, pleasurable fragrances have been shown to create “dwell-time” in stores, increasing the likelihood of customers making purchases.
- Smell and Health Care
Creating a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere for patients is a challenge for every health care facility, be it large or small. Fragrances like jasmine or lavender have been used in hospitals and nursing homes to calm residents and emergency rooms and in waiting areas to calm and relax worried visitors. Also healing is enhanced when patients are exposed to nice fragrances.
- Smell and Productivity
Our senses of smell can even affect productivity in office environments. Specific smells have been found to increase alertness which in turn results in higher productivity rates. One study found that when lemon oil was diffused throughout a Japanese office building, productivity among data entry operators increased by 54%. Aromas can be smartly used to ward off mid-afternoon brain fog and enhance concentration levels.
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Can you think of other ways smell influences your daily life? Share below in the comments.
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