Today is National Sense of Smell Day! What, never heard of it? That makes sense, we guess, as it’s technically an American celebration. Still, as connoisseurs in scents ourselves here at Melt – not least in our luxury handmade candles – we couldn’t resist! Lots of people underestimate how much of a part smell plays in our daily lives – so to give you a better idea, here are our six favourite (and little known) facts about your sense of smell!
It’s a truly dizzying number, and one that as a species, we’ve not actually known about for all that long. It used to be thought that the human nose could only tell apart about 10,000 different smells – which is a lot in itself – but that number turns out to be based on research performed all the way back in 1927. A more recent scientific study indicated that number to be over a trillion. No word on how long the study took!
You might already know that your olfactory sense (your sense of smell) is the most sensitive of all your senses. It’s part of the reason why studies show that people can remember scents with 65% accuracy after a year, but that number goes down to 50% when dealing with visual recall.
It also means that we closely associate it with our emotional memories. Say, for example, you might remember the smell of your old teddy bear from childhood, even if you lost him years ago. You can even turn this to your advantage – it’s exactly the reason why it’s so easy to use scented candles to form pleasant memories and lasting atmospheres in your home. For example, you could choose scents like those from our Dance or Shine handmade candles to be eternally linked to the comfort of your own living room, so that even years down the line they still evoke happy memories!
When your head hits the pillow each night and you finally close your eyes, your sight is obviously the first sense to be switched off for the night. But not many people know that your smell is another sense to go, too! “Wake up and smell the coffee” is literally true, as your sense of smell shuts down when you go to sleep. It’s probably just as well – even though we’d love to drift off to our dreams spirited away on the scents of Blush or our Lavender scented candle, it’s a bit of a fire hazard to leave candles burning unattended.
We find that this is one of the least-known facts about your olfactory sense. It’s a bit complicated to explain, but the simple version is that we all have what’s called our ‘scent blind spots’. They are what they sound like – basically, smells we can’t pick up. What does reach our noses is a slightly different, unique combination of scents. Even if the differences themselves are minuscule, it means that the scents we do enjoy are technically unique to us. So when you buy one of our handmade luxury candles like Hush, you’re experiencing it in a way that no one else can!
Whatever you’re doing today, we hope you’re celebrating Sense of Smell Day in style! You might already have your own favourites amongst our range – feel free to browse our scented candles here, or take a quick trip down to our little shop on the farm and experience them in person!