Smells And Their Psychological Affect
The ability to detect and respond to odors is widespread among animal species. Studies on humans and animals demonstrate that our ability to perceive scents is influenced by prior experiences and/or physiological states (such as hunger) and that certain odors can elicit feelings and lead to the retrieval of associated memories of those feelings.
Additionally, fragrances can affect both psychological and physiological states. Individual odorants are mapped to corresponding glomeruli in the olfactory bulb via gene-specific receptors. The olfactory bulb then projects directly to the piriform cortex and the amygdala without going through the thalamus. The chemical composition of an odorant is reflected in the smells that glomeruli respond to.
We now know that the neural foundations underlying olfaction are particularly well suited for the associative learning and emotional processing that it entails. The olfactory bulbs are a component of the limbic system and have a direct connection with other limbic structures, such as the amygdala, that are responsible for the processing of emotions and associative learning (the hippocampus).
There is no other sensory system that has such an intimate association with the cerebral centers of emotion and associative learning as the olfactory system does; hence, there is a strong neurological basis for why scents induce emotional connections.
A study involving children and research involving people from different cultures have produced compelling evidence that responses to scents are learned via associative mechanisms. When flavor compounds from the mother’s food are absorbed into the amniotic fluid and swallowed by the growing baby, many studies have revealed that odor learning occurs before birth.
This happens when the amniotic fluid contains flavor compounds. It was found in studies where mothers’ consumption of distinct-smelling substances such as garlic, alcohol, or cigarette smoke was monitored. At the same time, they were pregnant, and therefore their babies preferred these smells as compared to infants who had not been exposed to these odors. These smells included garlic, alcohol, and cigarette smoke.
These preferences are learned at an early age and continue to influence choices for food and flavor throughout infancy and even into maturity. [It is important to remember that odor is primarily responsible for the production of flavor, whereas taste is exclusively responsible for the sensations of salt, sour, sweet, bitter, and savory.] In addition to ensuring the infant receives adequate nutrition, breastfeeding allows for increased opportunities for emotional and physical bonding between mother and child. Therefore, it should not really come as a surprise that feelings play a significant part in associative learning when it comes to eating.
Other studies have demonstrated that when infants are cuddled while being exposed to accidental scents, such as perfume, the infants develop a preference for incidental scents.
The conclusion is that scents can impact mood, work performance, and a wide variety of other forms of behavior thanks to the acquired associations they have, particularly the emotional associations they have learned. The next time that you come across a fragrance you enjoy, try to recall where you first encountered it. After that, consider whether or not you experience a shift in mood and whether or not that shift motivates you to carry out any specific actions.
Perfume Samples surely has perfumes that you are familiar with and will have you remembering events and situations!