Smell is our most primal Sense –

When I’m delivering my standard 45 minute “No Sense Makes Sense” presentation, I start off taking about the role of marketing & advertising in making us feel that we need to be very perfumed to be considered clean/sexy/desirable. From there I explain why this is such a scentsitive topic for people – the evolutionary aspect of our Sense of Smell.

scents & sexual desire

CBC Radio’s Ideas program is one of my favourite radio programs of all time. I was so happy when they delved into the issue of scents – speaking about it from a historical and evolutionary perspective.

Here are excerpts from their description of the 1 hour program called “The Seduction of Scents“:

Smell is our most primal sense. It connects us to our animal selves more than our other senses do.

Scent has been used for millennia to enhance sexual attraction and mask body odour. The manufacture of scent is a billion dollar industry in today’s deodorized world. Cindy Bisaillon examines the psychology and neurology of smell.

The seduction of scent surrounds us in thousands of ways. A multi-billion dollar scent industry helps persuade us to mask our own natural smells. We’ve become obsessed with smelling clean and fresh. Our world has been de-odourized, only to be re-odourized, in ways that are often subliminal. Trendy clothing stores are scented with specially designed fragrances to put us in a buying mood. Scent plays on our emotions, and takes us into the past.

It carries a wealth of stories [such as] the secret of Chanel No.5.

Please have a sniff of this scenterrific radio documentary and let me know what you found most fascinating/surprising.


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About the author

Liz Rice is an expert on how to minimize our exposure to the toxins in our daily lives. She specializes on the issue of fragrances in the workplace - helping employers & employees navigate this very scents-itive issue.

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