5 things you didn't know about your sense of smell

5 things you didn't know about your sense of smell

Whether it’s the aroma of a Sunday roast or the pong of an unwashed sports kit, your sense of smell is a powerful thing – and here’s why.


Freshly mown grass, brewing coffee, baking loaves, summer lavender… Smell is a sense we take completely for granted, yet it also has perhaps the most power to evoke a feeling for us – whether it’s a cherished memory or just a desire to eat fresh bread!

Here are seven amazing facts about smell that will help you harness its power to improve your home life.

1. Smell is the oldest sense in the animal kingdom

It’s also the first sense that babies develop, even while they’re in the womb, and in the first few weeks after birth a baby can recognise the mother’s amniotic fluid, breast milk and prefers her scent over everyone else’s. In fact, in tests, infants who were exposed to garlic, cigarette smoke or alcohol in the womb showed a preference for the smells. A familiar scent has been proven to be comforting to babies, so try to use the same gentle detergent when washing baby clothes.

2. Women have a stronger sense of smell than men

Neuroscientists have found that women have up to 50% more olfactory cells than men, which might explain why chaps can sometimes be less fussy about whiffy sheets and stinky socks. They might not be bothered, but there’s no reason you should suffer. Using Bold 2in1 means you can enjoy long-lasting scents every time you wash. Choose from Lotus Flower and Lily, Lavender and Camomile, Sparkling Bloom and Yellow Poppy, and Plumeria and White Orchid.

3. Kids smell worse when they hit puberty

Ok, maybe you did know this one. But did you know why? It’s not because they’re not washing properly (at least that’s not the only reason). It’s because the apocrine sweat glands only start working during adolescence, and they are the culprit. High-protein sweat from the apocrine glands is like nectar to bacteria, which is why you might suddenly find your sweet-smelling child is suddenly a mass of body odour.

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4. Your sense of smell almost shuts down during sleep

Researchers are still undecided on whether there is any sense of smell at all during sleep, but there’s no doubt that it’s hugely reduced. The phrase ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ makes more sense when you know that you smell almost nothing when asleep. That means the first thing you smell in the morning should be clean and fragrant – try washing your sheets in stimulating Plumeria and White Orchid. Bold 2in1 to help you wake up refreshed.

5. Dogs have up to 60 times more scent receptors than humans

We have around five million olfactory receptors, making smell pretty important to us – but compare that to a bloodhound’s 300 million receptors, making his sense of smell so keen that it’s allowable in court. Even the least smell-sensitive dogs have a sense of smell that’s about 20 times better than ours. Which means that while we might find Fido a bit stinky sometimes, he is far more aware of our own odours.

6. Smell triggers more memories and emotions

Other senses might prompt memories, but nothing is as powerful as scent, and this is because of the way the brain processes it. The olfactory bulb, which deals with smell, is closely connected to the parts of the brain that deal with memory and emotion. That’s why a smell like lavender might instantly evoke your childhood holiday in the lavender fields of Kent or Provence, or the smell of crayons takes you straight back to school. Look for laundry products with scents that will create lovely memories for your children, such as Bold 2in1 in Lavender and Camomile – they’ll thank you when they’re grown-up.

What scents evoke memories for you? Let us know in the comments box below.

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