Scents affect humans a great deal. In fact, they can affect our mood, our attraction to other humans, how willing we are to buy an item in a shop, and our cognitive functioning. We already wrote one blog about all the different ways in which scent may affect us.
This blog will cover some other cool facts about scents, which includes some of the reasons why we are so passionate about making car air fresheners!
We all know that the human body is complicated–it’s an incredibly sophisticated “machine.” And the more you learn about it, the more fascinating it gets. For example, did you know that humans have over 1M smell receptors?
So in our job, when trying out new car air fresheners we engage 1M smell receptors! That suddenly makes us feel like we’re doing an impressive job, but you do the same every time you smell your morning coffee. Though, to be fair, we aren’t certain all 1M smell receptors are always engaged…probably not!
How Many Scents Can We Smell?
When you think about how many scents you know of, what number comes to mind? Maybe a couple of hundred? Up to a thousand?
In actual fact, humans can detect up to a trillion different smells!
Plus, consider that there are about 400,000 different types of plant species, and each type of plant comes with a different scent. In turn, that scent is broken down into different kinds of substances. In other words, while we say a plant smells a certain way, that scent is made up of various other scents.
For example, vanilla isn’t just one scent–it’s made up of different substances. Likewise, one type of vanilla smells different from another type of vanilla.
Yet, perfumes, including car perfumes are divided into only four main groups:
These four groups sometimes overlap (cinnamon can be described as woody and oriental).
Scent Varies from Person to Person
What you smell is not what someone else smells. Everyone experiences scent slightly differently. For example, consider that it’s genetic whether or not you like coriander/cilantro. To some, the herb smells delicious. To others, it smells horrible.
However, what we smell is likely fairly similar (most people can agree that rotten cabbage smells a certain way and is rather pungent), though we have different preferences for scents we like and dislike. This is why when people ask us what the best car freshener is, we always say it varies depending on the person. And why it’s so useful to have car fresheners you can turn on and off! What you like might make your passengers feel dizzy.
But why are some scents seen as “luxurious?”
When it comes to what’s considered a premium car perfume, or luxurious car freshener it often has to do with how hard it was to extract the scent before the invention of synthetic scents. For example, our premium car perfume range includes scents like oud and musk that traditionally took a lot of work to produce. Some companies still use the natural scents, in which case you’ll have to fork out a lot of money.
When it comes to perfumes you wear on the skin, the formulas for premium scents are often a lot more complicated than the formulas used for even the best car freshener.
Scent Creates Strong Memories
You’ve probably experienced smelling a familiar scent and being taken back in time to when you last smelled that scent. In other words, scent aides in memory recall.
We can also remember scent with 65% accuracy after a year. Visual memory recall, on the other hand, is only 50% after three months.
That means that while you may impress someone with your dress code, what they’ll remember a year later is what you smelled like… They may not be able to tell you what you smelled like if they are asked, but the moment they smell the scent again, they’ll know.
We always jokingly say that our car air freshener that smells like bubblegum brings back memories of first kisses.
We Don’t Smell Much When We Sleep
Our ability to smell changes as the day progresses–it appears our ability to smell is the best at around 9 pm at night. So if you take your date for a ride at 9 pm at night, be sure you’ve got some of the best car air freshener in your car, or drive through a field of wildflowers!
Then, as we fall asleep, some research suggests our olfactory system shuts down–possibly completely once we reach an REM stage (i.e. deep sleep). However, other experiments indicate that you do pick up on scents, even when you are in the REM stage of sleep. Some even believe it influences our dreams and sleep quality.
In other words, the truth is still out there as to how our sense of smell works when we are sleeping. As we can sleep through pain, it doesn’t seem so strange that we would also be able to sleep through various scents (and why you might not wake up in case of a fire–be sure to install smoke alarms!).
What does appear true is that smelling something nice when you go to sleep or when you wake up, can affect you positively. That’s not so strange considering scents affect our mood.
While you might not want a car freshener in your bedroom, especially not one with synthetic scents, consider putting a nice smelling flower in there, or using some essential oils. You can also make natural pot-pourri with cinnamon and orange peel.
The Best Nose
Our sense of smell peaks in our teens. Women are also better at smelling than men, and their sense of smell is even more heightened during pregnancy.
That said, we can all train our noses, and we all have an increased sense of smell after we exercise.
And as you probably know, hot weather leads to liquids turning into gasses, which is why summers in the city get smelly fast. Increased moisture also increases our ability to pick up on scents. On that note, let’s talk about evaporating scents…
How Long Do Scents Last?
Perfumes, including car perfumes, contain top (head) notes, middle (heart) notes and base notes.
For example, if you have a perfume consisting of orange, geranium, and vanilla, the strongest note at first will be orange, followed by geranium, and vanilla. This is because the orange evaporates first. Within 5-15 minutes that scent will be pretty much gone. Left is the geranium and vanilla. Eventually, all that remains is the vanilla.
In other words, scent changes with time. This holds true whether you buy an organic car air freshener (made with essential oils) or traditional synthetic car freshener. Likewise, even if you buy a long lasting car air freshener like Sniff Drive, the scent changes. The reason it lasts longer with Sniff Drive is because you can close the lid to the can it comes in. That way, less perfume evaporates. However, the scent still changes as it evaporates, but unlike perfume which you wear on your skin it doesn't evaporate all in one go.
Next time you put some perfume on your hand, or mix some essential oils together, notice how they change with time.
Animals and Humans Have Favorite Scents
Camels like tobacco. Cats like valerian. Lions like mint.
Humans are a bit more complex, but it seems a lot of people favor scents that remind them of something they enjoy/enjoyed in the past that smells nice. One study in the UK found that people’s favorite scent was freshly baked bread! Other studies suggest that men are the most attracted to women who smell like cinnamon rolls, but they also enjoy vanilla, doughnuts and black licorice (what a combo!), rose, and lily of the valley.
Women also seem to enjoy vanilla, in addition to pastries and coffee, sandalwood, and cinnamon, among other scents.
We have our own favorite combos–some for the morning, some for the night. Do you know what yours are? If not, start sniffing!
What Does Organic Perfume Mean?
If you see an organic car freshener, or organic perfume, it might mean various different things.
It might mean that the scent is made with organic essential oils. Meaning it’s an all natural car air freshener. Some people are allergic to various essential oils, so be careful if you’re sensitive.
It might also mean that the packaging is made with organic materials. We use organic fibers to store our car perfume, for example.
Scent affects us a great deal–more than we’re probably aware of. It might be time to take a moment to ensure you have an essential oil diffuser in your home (beware of allergies and do vary what essential oils you use, as well as ensuring they are real essential oils and not synthetic fragrances), and some Sniff Drive in your car! You could end up feeling calmer, smarter, and happier when your surroundings smell better.