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The Science Behind: Perfumes

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

If you haven't already figured it out from the title, today's article is going to be about........


Where does perfume even come from? Whose idea was it to make such a liquid that would make us smell better?

It all started in Mesopotamia, where Tapputi was known to the be world's first chemist. Humans have been wearing delightful scents for millennia.

Why do humans have emotional responses to scents?

Have you ever seen those ads where a man sprays on some cologne and suddenly every pretty girl at the party becomes attracted to him? I've always wondered why those ads existed, but there's out there's a scientific explanation for it. The olfactory nerve (the nerve that controls our sense of smell) is pretty close to the amygdala ( the structure that is essential for expressing and experiencing emotion) This means that there is a direct connection, between scents and emotional responses.

Why are some smells better than others?

This question was recently asked by one of my friends. (Shoutout to Ishita) According to the brain and nervous system news on WebMD, how much we like or hate a smell depends on our experience with it. Most of us have been in a room with that one person who smells like they bathed in their perfume. I usually love floral perfumes, but due to unpleasant experiences, sometimes they give me a headache. If you are in a room with a pleasant smell, but with loud noises or annoying people. Basically, if you experience some smell in an uncomfortable or unpleasant situation, it is very likely that you will not like that smell anymore.

Why are some smells stronger than others?

I always found it weird that some smells gave me headaches, whereas others didn't. There are three reasons why some scents are stronger than others.

1) The vapor pressure of the molecule makes the smell come off stronger.

2) The amount of scent in the surrounding area. If there is a lot of one scent, it can seem stronger.

3) Some scents react differently to the smell receptors in your nose, which results in a stronger sensation

What are the best smells in the world?

There is no real answer to this question, because of the expression "to each their own"

This expression means that everybody is different. And it's very true. Everybody has opinions about the scents that they like. I personally love the smell of vanilla, lavender, and rain. It is all based on experience. If you've had a bad experience during a rainy day then you're not likely to enjoy the smell of rain. The same way some people love the smell of fresh gasoline, but if someone has had a bad experience with gasoline, they're not going to love the smell of it.


Stay Curious ;)





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