If you are interested in Aroma-chology you will enjoy spending sometime on the Sense of Smell Institute (SOSI) website. Even if you don’t exactly know what Aroma-chology is I think you will find the website facinating. You can learn more about them here.
Aroma-Chology was developed by the Sense of Smell Institute in the 1980’s. It is defined as, “a collection of scientific data under controlled conditions to study the interrelationship of psychology and fragrance technology to transmit a variety of specific feelings and enhance behavior through the olfactory experience. Aroma-Chology seeks to establish the positive effects of aromas on human behavior that are verifiable through reproducible scientific experiments. Aroma-Chology deals only with the psychological effects achieved through the use of ambient odors that stimulate the olfactory pathways to the brain.”
From the Sense of Smell Institute you can learn about research done by the SOSI, use their virtual library, go to various scientific links, refer to the glossary of olifaction, check out their publications, go to Smell 101 and one of my favorite sections Fun Facts.
Here are a few Fun Facts from the SOSI:
Everyone has his or her own unique odor-identity or “smell fingerprint.
No two people have the exact same odor-identity or “smell fingerprint” which is determined by many factors including: our genes, skin type, diet, medicine, mood state and even the weather.
The average human being is able to recognize approximately 10,000 different odors.
Our sense of smell is so powerful that when you smell skunk, you are smelling 0.000,000,000,000,071 of an ounce of scent. Dogs have about 200 million olfactory receptors. That is about 20 times the number of receptors that humans have.
It is important to understand that throughout every day and night of our lives we smell a wide variety of odors without being aware of them at all.
We go about our activities, breathing in and out, as an infinite number of chemical molecules interact subliminally with our odor receptors. Only when an odor irritates or pleases us or acts as a sudden reminder of the past do we pause to take notice.
People recall smells with a 65% accuracy after a year, while the visual recall of photos sinks to about 50% after only three months.
Our odor memories frequently have strong emotional qualities and are associated with the good or bad experiences in which they occurred. Olfaction is handled by the same part of the brain (the limbic system) that handles memories and emotions. Therefore, we often find that we can immediately recognize and respond to smells from childhood such as the smell of clean sheets, cookies baking in the oven, the smell of new books or a musty room in Grandma’s house. Very often we cannot put a name to these odors yet they have a strong emotive association even if they cannot be specifically identified.
Enjoy checking out the Sense of Smell Insitute. Do you have any resources online that you want to share?