This week we’re sharing with you some of our favourite (and weirdest) facts about fragrance.
- Ladies, We’ve Got This One.
Studies have shown that women generally have keener senses of smell than men, able to detect and recognise odours that their male counterparts could not. A reason for this may be that women have a more developed orbital prefrontal region of the brain (we’re not sure what this means, but it sounds good). Another reason may be that this keen sense of smell evolved from an ability to distinguish the best mates and to help women develop with new-borns. But it’s not all fun and games because women are also significantly more likely than men to suffer from ‘cacosmia’ – perceiving unpleasant odours and often consequently feeling unwell. Typical.
- Smells Sell
It’s no secret that your sense of smell evokes memories and emotions. But it may be more of a secret that scent is often adopted as a form of marketing, with shops, hotels, and even nightclubs releasing artificial scents to entice customers and clients. A grocery store in Brooklyn even came under fire for emitting the artificial scent of chocolate and fresh baking throughout the shop in order to tempt customers. What a testament to the evocative power and the importance of fragrance!
- Eau d’you
Everyone has their own unique odour, just as they have their own fingerprint. The distinct odour you carry can be traced back to the same genes that determine tissue type and not even a change in diet will adapt it!
- The Whale Lottery
Ambergris is one of the most valuable raw materials in fragrance. Despite its reputation as highly coveted and incredibly invaluable, this material is far from glamorous. Ambergris is a wax-like substance expelled by sperm whales. Yes, really. Produced by sperm whales to protect them from the horny beaks of their favourite food, cuttlefish, the waxy mater is either expelled from the whale or is released when the whale passes away. Once on the loose and exposed to the sun and air, the waxy substance develops a sweet, musky scent. A rare (and surprisingly pleasant) ingredient, keep your eye out the next time you’re on the beach – some have compared finding ambergris to finding a bag of money…
- Ask the Dog
“Can you smell that?” dogs have nearly 44 times more scent cells than humans. At a meagre five to six million odour-detecting cells, humans fall short behind dogs who boast 220 million! Feeling inadequate? Don’t. We’ve evolved to rely less on our sense of smell, whilst animals have retained this sense – now who’s behind?