The acutest of our senses: what does a scent mean to you?

07 Feb

I love the smell of lots of things, I also detest the smell of lots of things!

Sometimes I think I actually have a bionic nose, I can detect if one of my sons has been eating chocolate at one hundred paces or pick up on things no one else around me can. I am sure most of us will agree on bad smells, but what is it that makes us inhale and smile at a smell we like?  It is well documented that the sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more so than any other sense. We might smell something which evokes a strong memory, one for me is mint growing in the garden.  Immediately takes me back to summers in Norfolk spent with my dear uncle Willy.  My parents weren’t huge gardeners at that time and I used to adore going to Norfolk with all the fresh herbs, vegetable plots and rose gardens, one whiff of fresh mint and I am right back at Church cottage. 

Smell is also highly emotive which is perhaps why we can react so strongly to a scent.  Curious to explore this further I did a small survey among some friends asking what their favourite smells are. Drum roll the top 10 are.......

1     Lavender

2     Fresh laundry

3     Coconut

4     Petrol

5     Cut grass

6     Sweet peas

7     Jasmin

8     White musk

9     Lily of the valley

10  Karvol capsules

So if we have the best 10 it's only right to have the worst 10......

1   Fox poo

2   Sour milk

3   Cardamom

4   Car air fresheners

5   Vanilla

6   Sandwich spread

7   Wet dog

8   Cigars

9   Pepper

10 Cucumber

Some interesting choices on both lists! 

Just goes to show how different we are and that is what makes scent so interesting. I will be exploring this further on another post. 

I would love to know what your favourite smell is. 

I hope this made you smile on a Friday afternoon.



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