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How does the sense of smell work and what are the most pleasant aromas?

The sense of smell is one of the five senses with which humans are endowed, playing a role in helping us perceive olfactory stimuli from the surrounding environment. Many researchers consider it more important than the other four senses – sight, hearing, taste, and touch – because the human body often perceives olfactory stimuli before those of other nature.

For example, you can realize by the smell that your food is burnt without being near the stove to see it smoking and without needing to taste it.

In this article, however, we aim to talk about pleasant aromas and not about burnt food smells. We will return to this subject after explaining how the human brain perceives olfactory stimuli.

How Smell Works

The human body is equipped with specialized cells for capturing olfactory stimuli, which are essentially molecules suspended in the atmosphere. It’s not hard to guess that these specialized cells are located in the nose, specifically in the olfactory epithelium, and the air we inhale passes through them like a filter.

Therefore, if there are odor-carrying molecules in the air, they will be immediately detected by these cells, which send the information to the brain in the form of electrical impulses. Here, the information is processed, and you can immediately recognize the nature of the smells you perceive.

If it’s the first time you smell a particular scent, the brain will accumulate more information with the help of other senses, and thus, the smell will be identified and recognized the next time.

How the Sense of Smell Evolves

According to studies, the human brain has the ability to distinguish between about 10,000 types of smells. However, this capacity changes with age, and the process begins quite early. It is assumed that people have the best olfactory capacity in childhood and adolescence, and by the age of 20, this capacity is already reduced by 20%. The degenerative process continues throughout life, so by the age of 60, olfactory capacity can be diminished by up to 60%.

How Smells Trigger Emotions and Feelings

Certainly, you have noticed from your own experience that certain smells evoke memories or induce certain states. If you wonder how this is possible, you should know that the area of the brain responsible for processing information sent by the approximately 25 million cells in the olfactory epithelium is in close proximity to the one responsible for memory and emotions.

Thus, smells are associated with the moment they were perceived, and later, the perception of a similar or related aroma will trigger memories and feelings related to that moment.

Additionally, some smells can induce a sense of well-being without any prior experience related to them. This explains why a diffuser with the right fragrance can help you relax at the end of a busy day or lift your spirits when you’re not feeling your best.

What are the Most Pleasant Aromas

Each person has certain favorite aromas, depending on personal perceptions and experiences. However, there are a few aromas that almost no one would dislike.


The scent of vanilla reminds us of childhood tastes, ice cream eaten in the summer, rice pudding for breakfast, and cakes prepared by mom or grandma. Such moments can only be associated with pleasant memories, so the aroma of vanilla evokes a light nostalgia that takes many back to their childhood years.


The smell of lavender is discreet but persistent, having a calming and restful effect. At the same time, this aroma can help alleviate migraines and insomnia, which is why lavender essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy. These qualities were first highlighted in France and England during the Renaissance, and now the scent of lavender has become very popular worldwide.


The strong and refreshing aroma of mint also has a beneficial effect on mental well-being, bringing back pleasant memories of childhood. Who hasn’t enjoyed mint-flavored gum, candies, or the famous “Mentos” received as a gift in childhood? For many, these are the first memories associated with the smell of mint, so such an aroma is unlikely to be bothersome. Moreover, the scent of mint improves memory and gives you an energy boost throughout the day.


Again, we are talking about an aroma that awakens pleasant memories of the warm atmosphere of family gatherings during the winter holidays. Baked goods in the oven and mulled wine enjoyed by the fireplace are just two ingredients with a hint of cinnamon, a scent that stays with you for the rest of your life and evokes nostalgia whenever you smell it.

You can experience the beneficial effects that pleasant smells have on physical and mental well-being by visiting our online store. From here, you can order a variety of fragrances and perfume nebulizers for your home and living space.

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