The Smell That Satisfies

Sweet smellIt’s logical to think that when we smell something delicious, it makes us want to eat that food. But new research shows that may not be the case.

Researchers at the University of South Florida conducted an experiment where they exposed subjects to either the smell of strawberries or cookies and then offered them a choice of eating a cookie or a strawberry. When smelling the cookie for a short period (30 seconds or less), they tended to choose the cookie. But when they smelled the cookie for any longer, they ended up choosing the strawberry. The same worked in reverse. When people smelled strawberries, they were more likely to pick the cookie.

The head of the study, Dipayan Biswas, explained that the smell alone was enough to satisfy the craving because “scents satiate the pleasure center in our brains the same way actually eating unhealthy food does.”

How can you use this information?

First of all, places that encourage healthy eating like weight loss centers can diffuse sweet fragrances like Cake or Chocolate Chip Cookies. Stores that sell sweet treats, on the other hand, can use healthy food scents like Green Apple to turn customers’ desire towards their products. Bakeries and candy stores can even use an odor neutralizer to reduce the smell of the products.

On a personal level, if one of your new year’s resolutions is to lose weight, think about diffusing a sweetly scented fragrance in your home or work area. Air Esscentials has smaller diffusers like the AE450 and the Aroma Sol that are perfect for personal use.

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