Part 2 | Is Your Sense of Smell Working for You?
Scents can affect emotions. Staff in health care facilities have been known to incorporate aromatherapy to help keep guests calm. Soothing scents can be used to create a sensory healing effect in emergency rooms, nursing homes, and mental health facilities. Rosemary essential oil is sometimes diffused in rehabilitation centers for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
A loss of smell may interfere with your ability to connect with other people and form close relationships. People with Anosmia do not report a loss of memory, but rather a loss of emotional connection with their recollections.
The sense of smell can alert you to a hazardous situation. For example, if there is a fire, you smell smoke. A distinctive odor is added to natural gas so that if a leak occurs, you can identify the danger, escape to safety, and alert the appropriate authorities to deal with it. A sour or pungent aroma coming from food may inform you that it is spoiled and not safe to eat. Because smells provoke an immediate emotional response, they may help you react more quickly to the danger without having to deliberate.
In fact, sometimes a scent actually produces pain signals in the brain to communicate a possible threat. Because human emotions seem to be evocable through scent on a subconscious level, it may be possible that what you are detecting is the fear of someone else in the room. This may alert you to a threat that is present even if you don’t perceive it directly, which can give you more time to react.
The impact of scent on love and romance has been known for some time. For centuries, people have been using perfume, cologne, and other scented personal hygiene products in the hopes of attracting a mate. Now, there is scientific evidence to support the idea that changing your scent can make you more attractive to others. Participants of a study were exposed to certain scents while looking at pictures of women and asked to estimate the age and weight of each. They estimated that their weight was four pounds lighter when smelling floral, spicy scents and guessed they were 12 years younger than their actual age when exposed to the scent of grapefruit.
Many people may attempt to revive themselves by drinking coffee and other caffeinated beverages. However, research shows that scent may be more effective at increasing concentration levels by cutting through brain fog. A Japanese study found that diffusing lemon oil through an office building increased productivity by 54% among data entry operators because of increased alertness. Furthermore, unlike caffeine and other drugs, such invigorating scents do not seem to produce any harmful side effects.
When you perceive a smell that is pleasant to you, you may be more likely to linger in the vicinity for a while to get the most enjoyment out of it. What scent leaves you hanging with pleasure when you get a whiff of it??