The Power of the Sense of Smell
If you were to ask a person which of their five senses they would be willing to give up for $1 million, most people would say their sense of smell. This is because it is easy to understand the benefits of being able to see, hear, taste, and feel. However, many people mistakenly believe that their sense of smell is something that can be taken for granted.
However, what many people fail to understand is that the human sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses humans have. It influences human emotion, it influences a human’s ability to enjoy food, and it influences human memory.
Proof of the importance of the human sense of smell is seen when one examines the way the body views the nose. Every 28 days, or approximately every four weeks, the cells that allow humans to detect scent are renewed. This means that every 28 days, a person basically has a brand-new nose.
Another proof is the way the brain views smell. For example, if a person smells something, they will be able to remember that smell with 65 percent accuracy more than a year later. However, if a person sees something, they are only able to remember it with 50 percent accuracy three months later. This clearly shows that the human brain gives more priority to capturing and storing information gathered by the nose than it does information gathered by the eyes.
There is ample research to prove that a person’s sense of smell can invoke strong emotions. A person can walk into a room and smell something that they last smelled when they were a child. In their mind they are transported back to that moment in their childhood when they first smelled the scent. The emotions they felt at that time are invoked. The connection between smell and emotions is something that manufacturers take into consideration when they select the scent for automatic air fresheners.
Women have a stronger sense of smell than men. However, the sense of smell of both men and women can easily get bored. For example, when a person walks into a bakery, they are acutely aware of the aroma around them. However, after a few minutes, a person does not even notice that there is the smell of a bakery around them.
The sense of smell is so important for human survival that people have completely developed their sense of smell before they are born. Truly, the human sense of smell has a large impact on the way humans identify themselves and the way humans interact with the world.