Next time you’re squeezing grapefruit for your breakfast juice or Greyhound cocktails out on the patio, go ahead and spritz a little of the zest in the air around you.
Why? Well, Dr. Alan Hirsch, neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago, conducts in-depth studies of the chemosensory system and its impact on virtually all aspects of life: behavior, emotions, mood and human interaction, and even learning speed. In one experiment, Hirsch tested various aromas like broccoli, cucumber, grape, and lavender, along with grapefruit. He found that pink grapefruit, specifically, made people view others as more positive and youthful. Not only that, but the aroma of grapefruit caused people to estimate other people’s age to be about 6 years younger than their actual age.
Hirsch believes the grapefruit fragrance relieves stress and makes people feel happy, thus judging others in a better light; others believe the smell jogs pleasant memories of the past.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Ivar Leidus