Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Smell Research

Like most people, I think aromatherapy is kind of hooey, except that I do really like perfume and different aromatic oils. It turns out interesting research has been done on the physiological impact of different scents, leading to some neat conclusions. Most of this comes from the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, ltd., and published reports of the research of one Alan Hirsch.
  • Smelling of Grapefruit Helps Women Appear Younger But Doesn't Affect Other Women. Very odd. "Another possibility is that the grapefruit aroma could have sexually aroused the men, clouding their judgment, or even could have acted as a stress buster, he says." Grapefruit makes me more stressed, not less, but then men are strange about foods.
  • As this shows, too: Various Aromas Enhance Male Sexual Response, most marked being the smell of lavender and pumpkin pie, closely followed by a mix of donut and black licorice. Strange, desserts and candy are sexy.
  • But meanwhile, the Sense of Smell Can Make You Eat Less, which has even been productized in Australia. Banana, green apple, and pepermint are high weight loss scents.
  • And Floral Scents Make Women Look Thinner. That rose based perfume I bought in Paris must make me look anorexic.
  • Male Underarm Odor Makes Women More Fertile plus other weird smell facts, like "Green apple and cucumber scents create the impression of a larger space, while the scent of roasted meat creates the impression of closer quarters; Some people can't smell skunks, while others can't smell freesias; A 1-week-old baby can discriminate between the smell of his own breastfeeding mother and another mother; Women are born better smellers than men and remain better smellers over life." And lavender really does measurably induce better and deeper sleep.
  • While back on Hirsch's corporate page, people scratching their noses might be lying. Or, like me, it could be allergies.


Anonymous said...

There has been an interest in oxytocin ... it is still early, but some of the science appears very real and interesting


Lynn said...

Hey Steve,
I think I blogged your post about oxytocin before :-)

Anonymous said...

that you did ..
I'm getting forgetful in my old age

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of things are hooey, but I don't think that aromatherapy is hooey. Take migraines for instance: the smell of green apples (soap, shampoo, etc) has been shown to reduce migraines and a I have found that too much floral scent will trigger one for me.

Some scents are very calming. If you have doubts, I will come into your office and apply something to your temples next week.