Scent is more powerful than you think…
A recent study by Rockefeller University in New York City found that we remember 35% of what we smell, compared to only 5% of what we see and 2% of what we hear.
Why indeed smell is so powerful? The sense of smell (or olfaction) is our most primitive sense and yet is one of the most powerful senses that cannot be turned off.
Of all the senses, the sense of smell is the most important trigger of memory. Why is smell so intimately linked with our memory?
One reason is that olfactory system is located in the same part of our brain that effects emotions, memory, and creativity. And, that part of the brain processes smell, interacts with regions of the brain that are responsible for storing emotional memories. A smell becomes associated with the particular experience, person, or time period with which it is repeatedly paired. For example, sudden scents, like smelling salts, will jolt the mind or a freshly baked pancake will take us to the realm of our childhood.
According to the Sense of Smell Institute, the average person is able to distinguish over 10,000 different odours. A growing evidence of various studies recently testify to impact both positive and negative that smell can have on human behaviour, mood, and emotions.
The use of scents, aromas, and fragrances can
- Promote relaxation
- Reduce stress
- Improve alertness
- Relieve pain and depression
- Reduce inflammation
- Kill disease causing microbes
As a business owner, this knowledge is incredibly powerful and emphasizes the need to make sure you are not exposing your customers or employees to any foul smelling or unpleasant odours. Bad odours similarly can negatively impact consumers’ perceptions of the quality of a business as well as employee productivity and effectiveness.
Obviously the hotels, retail chains or any other businesses seeking to provide positive experiences for their customers and stimulate return business should consider the use of scent to enhance their environment.
TOP 20 SMELLS WHICH MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY
- Freshly baked bread
- Clean sheets
- Freshly mown grass
- Fresh flowers
- Freshly ground coffee
- Fresh air after rain fall
- Fish & Chips
- Bacon frying
- Roast Dinner
- Lemon zest
- Apple and blackberry crumble in the oven
- A freshly lit match
- Party poppers
- Rubber tyres