Is Smelling Good a Green Flag? The Science Behind Smell

The human nose never stops picking up on scents, this is why smells impact every day life. Smells influence you more than you may realize.

BBC

The human nose never stops picking up on scents, this is why smells impact every day life. Smells influence you more than you may realize.

Emma Safari, Photojournalist

It is no secret that as humans, we are attracted to and revolted by smells. But the question remains, why? According to aromatechscent.com, nearly 75% of our day is influenced and determined by smells. Human noses are incredibly sensitive, and  they are also incapable of being “turned off.” They are constantly working to pick up new scents even when asleep. In addition to this fact, the smell can also affect a person’s emotions and memory. 

Let us start with how smell affects a person’s emotions and memory. As stated in discovery.com, when the nose inhales a scent, the scent travels through the thalamus and enters the brain’s smell center, which is known as the olfactory bulb; moreover, scents also find their way to the hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for memory and emotional processing. As a result, the brain associates smells with situations. “Smell makes me remember people,” says Anonymous. This is also why certain smells may spark the recollection of certain memories. 

“Smelling good is a huge green flag. It means that the person is clean and cares about their hygiene.””

— Anonymous

Now, let us relate this back to the world of dating. Have you ever noticed how you are more attracted to people who wear nice colognes and perfumes as opposed to someone with body odor? But again, why? First off, maintaining an attractive smell implies that a person cares about their hygiene and their appearance. “Smelling good is a huge green flag. It means that the person is clean and cares about their hygiene,” says Anonymous. Many students can agree that it is much more attractive when a person is both clean and smells good. This is why when you are attracted to a person, you are also attached to their smell. As an example, every person’s significant other has a certain smell to them. This is why an individual enjoys wearing their significant other’s clothes, it reminds them of their counterpart.

 Although, too much of a certain smell can be a red flag, as smells can also be incredibly overwhelming to the human body. Too much of a certain smell can trigger an unfavorable response. “An excess of a certain smell can mean that you are too cocky. Having your own smell is the best. Like my hair has its own smell and it’s really good,” says Caleb Bloom (11). Have you ever walked into the locker room and instantly been hit with a whiff of either excessive perfume or cologne? Oftentimes, you gag or retch at the strength and amount of the perfume. Since the nose is so sensitive, too much of a certain smell can be overwhelming and unappreciated. 

To conclude, as one of the five main senses, the sense of smell is incredibly important. This means that keeping good hygiene and wearing a certain smell can draw more people towards you, both intentionally and unintentionally.