The smell of happiness

Scientists have delved deep into aroma and discovered that feelings of happiness can be transferred between individuals through sense of smell. Just as chemosignals can communicate negative emotions, they found that positive emotions can also be communicated, in their tests, people were exposed to body odor that was collected from people in a happy state of mind and these smells induced happy facial expressions. In a separate research programme, scientists at The International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (IFF) concluded that their studies reveal that fragrance is indeed powerful enough to counteract stress in a performance task. But why is it that inhaling something fabulous such as mown grass or a freshly cut apple can lift our spirits so effectively and so fast? Memory is an important factor because we associate happy (or sad) times with visual, audio and aromatic triggers. Scent has a physiological affect on the body, and in particular pleasant smells induce a tranquil effect, lowering the heart rate and reducing stress. (more…)