The nose is our most direct sense: it is highly emotional, intuitive and intimate, and it is therefore very powerful.
Fragrances & scents are literally not to be captured also because they are very difficult to describe. Looking for instance at the story of Patrick Süskind's "Das Parfum", where Grenouille tries to capture the natural smell of women. Generally speaking, exchanging ideas about smells can quickly be abstract, or even vague.
The French intellectual Marcel Proust described 100 years ago beautifully in his book called "A la recherche du temps perdu" (In search of the lost time) how strong he is caught by memories of his great-aunt and the village where she lived, when eating a madeleine (cookie) dipped in blossom tea. That is the reason why we call this effect, being directly traced back to a memory or emotion when smelling a scent, 'the Proust effect'.
Scents influence us consciously and unconsciously. Scent can determine our mood and our instinctive decisions that we take. Smelling is essential for our taste, it has an important alarm function, it retrieves memories, affects our feeling of well-being, our relationships, our motivation and memory processes.
A scent can touch the most primal of senses and immediately delivers their messages to the brain. For example, even before a newborn can see its mother clearly, it can determine love, warmth and care through the intimate body odour of its mother and will recognize its mother by her scent.
More scent facts:
- Sense of Smell: here you will find facts behind our sense of smell and its effects & perception.
- Sensory Branding: discover how to make use of all senses in order to build an anchor to a product or a message.
- Scent Science: the hard facts and the scientific side of our sense of smell can be explored here.