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  • Steven Hansen

Smell Good Things


Of our five basic senses -- sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch – research says that our sense of smell is the most powerful. Our sense of smell can summon memories and elicit strong emotional and physical responses instantly.


Think of how you feel when you smell fresh baked bread or the acrid spray of a skunk. Smell is such a persuasive cognitive trigger for us that consumer product design and retail industries spend millions researching and developing ways to harness the power of emotion linked with a smell.


Are there really smells that can trigger feelings of happiness in us? You know it!


In 2013, SC Johnson & Son Co. conducted a phone survey of 1,010 American adults for its Glade product division. The respondents indicated these smells as their top picks for inspiring happiness in their daily lives:


  • Baking bread (72 percent)

  • Freshly laundered clothes (70 percent)

  • Briny smell of the seashore (66 percent)

  • Fresh natural smell of the ground after a spring rain (65 percent)

  • Tang of a fresh-cut orange (63 percent)

  • Sweet bouquet of apple cinnamon (62 percent)

  • Warm scent of vanilla (60 percent)

  • Decadent smell of chocolate (59 percent)


Hey, what about crayons, Hendrick’s gin, real Christmas trees, vinyl LPs, pizza...? We could go on and on.




Photo by Bruno Thethe from Pexels

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