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One cannot, as yet, tweet a smell. But you can write about it.

Thomas Beller
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Uncategorized

Smell Distortion

Coffee smells good, as does the smell outside a bread factory. Some say Abercombie and Fitch stores smell good too.

Something about smell makes us want to consume. But when we give in to the purchase we realize that it’s not as good as it smelled.

The coffee actually tastes bitter, the bread is just bread, and we want to return that cotton t-shirt.

Eighty per cent of what we think of taste actually reaches us through smell. – (link)

Just because something smells good or has a good headline or claims to performs well, we should always second-guess ourselves based on the actual quality of the content. Of course, for some things we don’t know until we try. Those chocolate cookies actually tastes better than they smell.

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Creativity Psychology

Mis-perception

gif via Alcinoo

“In perception, we have three processes:  sensation, memory, and association.” – Hermann Rorschach

Imagine if “association” conjured up something out of the ordinary, something you had read or experienced in your lifetime.

When you follow the herd and consume the same ideas and practices as others, you often miss a different perspective.

To avoid getting blindsided, the best thing to do is learn how to think differently about your subjects.  Accept the commonplace association but reach further by connecting it with something deeper.

Smelling a fragrance, for example, may be branded and remembered as Chanel 5 but it should also promote an image in your head of grassy fields and the golden sun.  Maybe you even see a castle in the background.

Perception blooms when the imagination combines with the obvious.

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Creativity Science

A visit to NYC’s International Flavors & Fragrances

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of participating in a fragrance tutorial at International Flavors & Fragrances in NYC. One of the most important tips about smelling fragrances is to move the test strip back and forth under your nose. Our teacher taught us that our nostrils alternate between open and closed so the only way to capture the true smell is to waft from both sides. The second lesson in fragrance testing

One of the most important tips about smelling fragrances is to move the test strip back and forth under your nose. Our teacher taught us that our nostrils alternate between open and closed so the only way to capture the true smell is to waft from both sides. The second lesson in fragrance testing is to use our right brain. The right brain is responsible for emotions and gets highly activated when we smell.

Our instructor never told us the ingredients to the fragrances. Instead, we smelled the fragrances with our eyes closed and announced the colors we saw. It’s magical how our brains always associate the unknown with an image. Our brains crave certainty. Sometimes I smelled light green, Vietnam, and saw castles and mountains; other times I smelled black licorice. When one sense promotes another it’s called synesthesia. This is how blind people can paint. Music too conjures up images in our head.

When one sense promotes another it’s called synesthesia. This is how blind people can paint. Music too conjures up images in our head. A fragrance is our dreams, not words. The ingredients, nodes, distort the pure magic of the emotional experience in smelling fragrances. Smell is too easily commoditized. Our teacher passionately vouched for a return to the dreamy quality of fragrance. Colors mean something but words used primarily for marketing purposes distort what fragrance is for in the first place. The essence of a fragrance is in the emotion.