Part One: Let’s Nose Dive into some Weird & Wonderful Smell Facts...
Smell is considered to be the oldest sense. It may be an everyday, ordinary sensation but the more closely we dive into the world of smells, the more extra-ordinary and fascinating they become!
From the sweet smell of that first cup of coffee to jolt our nervous system in the morning to the gentle scents which reassure us we are home in our own space, we’re exposed to an endless array of different smells every day – many of which have a significant impact on our mood and how we perceive the individual worlds we inhabit in our daily lives.
There is a whole world of airborne molecules swirling around, you and into to you at every second of the day. It is an invisible world that has a massive impact on our whole existence, understanding, wonder, disgust, danger, pleasure, hunger or triggers memories. Smell is one of the most fundamental features of our world and to celebrate the wonderful organ which is our nose, we’re sharing some of our favourite facts about scent and smell, some of them strange, some of them shocking.
Over the next few months we’ll dive into the world of smell and bring you the best of what we see – this week we’ll start with some amazing smelly facts....
1. Smells may be every day, ordinary sensations and they most definitely bring more to our lives than we give them credit for! Every person has a unique scent. It’s like their own fingerprint or "smellprint".According to a study by Johan Lundstrom in Sweden, “There is a large genetic component to body odour. Even trained sniffer dogs have a hard time distinguishing between identical twins, unless the twins are on different diets.” No two people smell the same, except for identical twins! Your smell print is determined by a number of factors including genes, the environment, diet, medicines, your emotional state, your skin type, and even the weather.
2. Your brain is working a lot harder than you may imagine! The human brain can process up 10,000 various smells in the same area the size of a postage stamp.
3. New research shows that women have more cells in the Olfactory Bulb which is the area of the brain that is dedicated to our sense of smell, than men. The ability to discriminate among odours and scents varies widely among individuals. Studies show marked differences between men and women, with women often outperforming men in many kinds of odour-sensing tests. One theory as to why this is is that a superior sense of smell can help new mothers and babies to bond after birth; another is it also influences females’ selection of potential mates.
4. Good smells make you happier: Smelling a fragrance you perceive as pleasant has a profoundly positive effect on your mood. So if you love vanilla, keeping a little scented oil on your desk can help lift you when you're down. The same goes for citrus, jasmine, or any other scent that makes you feel contented.
5. Our sense of smell is strongest in Spring and Summer because of additional moisture in the air. This is also the same after exercising as there is more moisture in your naval cavity!
6. Prolonged exposure to smell can be impaired. Our sense of smell can fatigue very quickly and become less sensitive to the senses after a short time it is exposed to them. Body does this to prevent our nervous system from overloading.
7. The first sense to develop when we are born is sense of smell!
8. Us Humans have between 5 and 6 million of cells that can detect odours in their noses which is a hell of a lot but that nothing in comparison to dogs who have 220 million of these cells!
9. Loss of sense of smell is called, anosmia.
10. Odours are easy to memorise and there is a powerful memory link. It has the ability to evoke an emotion or memory for us! Have a think of which scents for you have the power to do this! On average certain smell can be remembered with 65% of accuracy after a year while a picture can be remembered with 50% after three months.
11. Did you know that in order to reach the pinnacle of the perfume profession, perfumers are required to successfully identify at least 250 different scents as part of their induction test. This highly difficult initiation is why there are only 50 fully-fledged perfumers (also known as Noses) in the world.
12. You can smell as fresh as a daisy every month and your scent cells are renewed every 28 days, so every four weeks you get a new “nose”.
13. While humans each have a favourite smell, so too do animals. Cats like the smell of valerian, lions a mint smell and camels like the smell of tobacco. – Now you know how Camel cigarettes got their name!
14. It is not enough now to go to museums to see the past come to life, you have to smell it, too. At the Jorvik Viking Centre, a stench is pumped inside to give visitors a true simulation of what the Viking era would have smelled like. The museum attracts more than 14 million visitors a year who visit to experience smells such as a Viking toilet and village.
Nature is an endless supply of scents and ingredients. Fragrance oils are derived from just about everywhere in nature, from barks, blossoms and roots to seeds, fruits and leaves. There is no stone left unturned in the pursuit of the most wonderful scents for perfumes and candles!
Smells may be every day, ordinary sensations and they most definitely bring more to our lives than we give them credit for! Here at CandleWarehouse.ie it is our mission to help you enjoy your favourite scents and smells, our range of Candles and home fragrances boast a world of the finest fragrances to treat your nose to!
Did you enjoy these facts about scent and smell? For the full CandleWarehouse.ie range of Yankee Candles, WoodWick Candle and Home Fragrance products, Click Here or pop into our store and chat all things fragrance with our friendly sales team in Naas, Co. Kildare.