Who needs cake?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Accidental Hedonist - The Smells of a Kitchen

When the aroma [of garlic and onions frying] filled the kitchen and then wafted into neighboring rooms, something happened that kicked any “new home anxiety” out of the door.

Some people say to bake a cake or bread when you’re trying to make your house seem as appealing as possible.  I like garlic and onions better.

Smells do have a strange effect on people.  For example, I found it very disconcerting today when I walked into the men’s room at the headquarters of one of the illustrious branches of the Department of Homeland Security.  I can’t describe the smell, exactly, except to say that it reminded me strongly of a pet store.  Hamster bedding, perhaps?  I don’t know.  It freaked me out a little.

But I’d never really thought about smells-as-therapy.  It makes a lot of sense, though.  If a smell can quickly generate a strong feeling of something, it’s logical that they could be used to turn unwanted feelings into something more comforting.

That’s not to say that I want to smell garlic and onions everywhere, or that I want to smell my grandmother’s basement all the time and be transported back to 1986, playing my uncle’s old hockey game.  Sure, it’s a nice memory, but it wouldn’t be  so comforting if I had it all the time.

Anyway, it seems like an interesting way of manipulating emotions.

Posted in: health , Interesting