Imagine what would happen if you couldn’t smell the flowers in the garden, the multitude of fragrances you experience unknowingly in everyday life or for example the food on your plate?
Food wouldn’t be half as a appealing and life would be very very dull indeed. Fragrances and scent give shine and lustre to our lives. Without them, the kaleidoscope of emotions and memories that are associated with smell, would become more or less colorless and less meaningful. There is much more to smell than meets the nose, so to speak. Open your senses to the interesting facts and random trivia of smells, scents, fragrances and everything in between.
1. You actually smell with your brain: Not your nose, as you might assume.
2. Everyone has a unique “smell print”. No two people smell things the same way because each of us has scent blind spots, meaning specific odors we can’t pick up on. That room spray that smells like violets to you and like herbs to your friend? You can both be right.
3. Scents can conjure up memories. Most of your scent memories, however, come from the first decade of your life, unlike visual or other sensorial memory types.The most profound smell people are triggered by from their childhood, is the scent of fresh crayons!
4. Your nose contains 10 million smell receptors, which can distinguish 10 trillion distinct scents.
5. Feelings of fear or disgust can be smelled through sweat, when you smell that fragrance you can actually adopt that same emotion. You can also smell happiness and sexual arousal, as long as the person you’re smelling is a close romantic partner
6. People who have an inability to smell (Anosmia) tend to be more depressed than people who can smell. Dysosmia is when things don’t smell as they should.Hyperosmia is having a very strong sense of smell.
7. The human nose is almost as sensitive as the noses of many animals, including dogs
8. Your scent cells are renewed every 28 days, so every four weeks you get a new “nose”, but your sense of smell diminishes with ageing.
9. Good smells make you happier. Smelling a fragrance you perceive as pleasant has a positive effect on the mind. So if you love musk, keeping a little scented oil on your desk can help lift your mood when you’re down. The same goes for citrusy scents.
10. Scent is an elusive and mysterious sense. There are fewer scents than you might think: some researchers hypothesize that there are only seven primary odors: musky, putrid, pungent, camphoraceous (like mothballs), ethereal (like dry cleaning fluid), floral, and minty.
11. Blind people do not have enhanced powers of smell.
12. Perfumers are so brilliant at their jobs not because they have better noses, but because they have perfected the art of thinking about scents and classifying them.
13. Humans have 350 functional olfactory receptor genes. Mice have 1,300.
14. Your nose can become oversaturated when you smell lots of different scents a row. In between smelling each scent, it is important to reset the nose. How? Put your nose in your clothes and breathe in. Clothes may not have any potent odor but will free the nasal passages to experience other scents. Also, smelling coffee beans helps cleanse the nasal-palette.
15. Men can smell when women are ovulating: Both sexes can smell whether other people have Major Histocompatability Complexes (MHCs are gene codes important to the immune system) different from their own. This is interesting because mating with someone whose MHC is not very similar to your own creates offspring with hardier immune systems.
16. Pregnant women’s weird food cravings may be caused by their heightened sense of smell: Your nose is hypersensitive when you’re pregnant, causing you to you develop an abnormal sense of taste, which in turn leads to bizarre cravings like pickles and ice cream
17. Perfume was first developed and used by the ancient Egyptians in religious rituals
18. The first known perfumer in the world was A Mesopotamian chemist by the name of Taputti. Well at least he is considered to be the first named perfumer in the world.
19. Traces of perfume factories at least 4000 years old have been recently found during excavations.
20. Cleopatra used gallons of perfumed oil to seduce Julius Ceasar.
21. The ancient Romans used to sprinkle their walls with perfume to create a pleasant house fragrance.
22. The ancient Greeks created different perfumes for different parts of their body.
23. Napoleon Bonaparte asked his lover Josephine not to wash herself prior to his return home. That is how much he loved her natural scent.
24. The first contemporary perfume was also a beverage of some sorts. The Hungary Water perfume, created in 1370, is considered the first contemporary perfume, as there was alcohol in its composition (brandy). In order to get the best out of the perfume, in addition to applying it on the skin, people were encouraged to drink it. Nowadays this would be a rather expensive act, given the prices of today’s perfumes.
Other facts and trivia
25. A woman owns on average 5 different fragrances.
26. The favourite scent for men is the smell of fresh breakfast; for women it’s the scent of newborn babies.
27. 88% of women wear perfume to please themselves.
28. 55% of women use fragrances as a mood lifter.
29. A third of all men’s fragrances is purchased and worn by women.
30. The most expensive perfume in the world is Clive Christian’s Imperial Majesty, priced at $215,000 for 16.9 ounces, or 500 ml. It’s served in a Baccarat crystal bottle with an 18-carat gold collar and five-carat diamond.
31. Ambergris is one of the most valuable raw materials in perfumery. The ingredient has a smell that’s described as aquatic and sweet. It also happens to be produced in the intestines of sperm whales. Nowadays the use of natural ambergris is forbidden and replaced by synthetic versions of this rare ingredient.
32. Making perfume consists of two different approaches, both of which require extracting scents from flowers or other herbs. The first one uses saturated fat of wax, which absorbs the fragrance of ingredients after placing them together for three months. Then alcohol is used to remove the scent from the wax. Another approach requires putting flowers in three times its weight in water. At 100C, the water is boiled into water vapor that is then frozen into liquid. All fragrances are run through filters to remove impurities before use.
33. There are 1000 true ‘noses’ in the world of which roughly 400 are fine fragrance perfumers. These 400 people are the elite responsible for each and every fragrance in the world.
34. To be trained as a nose takes many years.
35. One of the tests that beginner perfumers have to take is daunting – they are given a scent that consists of up to 250 different notes and they have to specify each one of them!
36. The creation of a single perfume can take months or even years.
37. There is a reason why men use Eau de Cologne and women don’t (although some women actually prefer masculine scents). The ph levels in Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and other strengths vary. Men’s skin is more acidic than women’s which means the ph needs to be regulated in men’s fragrances. The acidity level of each person’s skin is different, add hormones, grease etcetera and you will realize that scents will smell slightly different on each person. Indeed, how a perfume smells on you is all up to the chemical properties of your skin.
38. Rubbing your wrists together after applying perfume actually breaks down the scent and crushes the fragrance. When you apply perfume make sure to let the scent breathe and ‘dry’.
39. When applied to your hair, perfume has a longer lasting hold but be beware of the alcohol in perfume, it could damage your hair.
40. Before applying any fragrance, moisturize the area properly. A perfume diffuses well when applied on moisturized skin, preferably a moisturizer in the same fragrance or else an unscented moisturizer.
Hope you enjoyed the list and remember, our last and final fact:the best place to store a fragrance is in the fridge!