Tag Archives: smell

Wellness is Smellness 

team building activity

“To smell something implies to be present in that moment, to breathe in, to take in everything that those passing seconds have to offer. For it is fleeting and the moment exactly as it was cannot be repeated.

Meditation and the art of grounding or centering oneself focuses on the breath. Such a powerful human faculty which we are all born with it yet so few of us exercise to its full potential.”

Some 20 years ago when I happened into the fragrance industry I was taken back by the chemistry and creativity behind it, but even more so by how personal and emotional the act of smelling was.

Through the past two decades I have consulted with multinational brands on designing or enhancing their sensory experience, to be more emotional and to be more memorable.
Through the years I was struck by how powerful a sense of smell is to each and everyone of us, how it can spark individual and collective mood and memory, but indeed also how it can fulfil important personal needs such as self-expression, developing sense of self as well as sense of place and finally and perhaps most importantly a sense of well-being.
And diving deeper, cultivating our sense of smell has historically been considered dangerous, even animal-like, something emotional and difficult to control. Indeed it is human nature to fear what we do not know and a sense of smell is the most mysterious of all of our senses.
Even recent research astounds with more questions on how the nose, a wondrous human tool can work the way it works. Are we smelling by interpreting shapes, or is it vibrations, or perhaps it’s a combination?
The purpose of this article is not to dissect the research literature but rather to awaken ourselves to this powerful tool that we all possess.
However unfortunately it is a blunt and underused faculty that our modern civilisation needs less than that belonging to our primitive ancestors who literally and physically had to rely on their keen sense of smell for survival.
For the most part we just don’t get taught how to train our human ability to smell. It’s processed on the right side of our brain that non-verbal, emotional and highly intuitive side of our brain, so is it any wonder we struggle to rationalise or quantify the power of this sense?
Through the period and process of the last 5 years, myself together with our team in Singapore, have incubated 3 in-house platforms each of which offer educational workshops or entertainment experiences focused on personal & group development through an active sense of smell.

Perfumery is a powerful tool to unlock creativity and build team cohesiveness through goal-oriented projects. Because the act of smelling is so unstructured, it allows for deep sharing and inclusive thinking.

Through natural and botanical workshops, we re-teach people how to breathe and to develop their own ritual-based fragrance as a trigger for positive mood states.

 

Throughout the pandemic these experiences thrived, albeit in much smaller more intimate groups than what we have been used to in the past.
We even developed a physical-digital (‘phygital‘) workshop experience where we hosted hundreds of people simultaneously, all of us connecting remotely via our collective sense of smell and memory.
Who would’ve thought that what we were building was actually a series of wellness programmes, products and experiences that have become a delight, a source of education, entertainment as well as  catalyst for growth of oneself and as part of the greater group or team.
I am proud to say that what started off as something belonging inside the realm of brand futurism is now squarely applicable to our own wellness as individuals and as a race of human beings still learning how to be human!
We currently collaborate with companies both large and small, customising their wellness and rewards programs around our mix of products and experiences that can be delivered both in person and online.
As we awaken to a new world and a new set of priorities let’s dive deep into our own sense of smell as a powerful tool for wellbeing and for centering ourselves in an increasingly complex and confusing world.
If you are interested in implementing a truly rewarding wellness programme for your team, please contact us today!
More information is found here https://topmiddlebase.com/wellness-program/

When will we be able to smell the dirt (and the freedom) again??

Do you know Why Maximus Smells The Dirt Before Each Battle?

According to ScreenRant, the reason behind his famous dirt-smelling ritual before each clash connects Maximus to his home and to his family.

The full piece is here 

Who isn’t feeling a tad bit nostalgic these days? For the freedom to wander, to touch freely and to smell freely?

Lets pray for happier days ahead

-Ed

Unpleasant aromas can comfort us as much as pleasant ones

It is a well known fact that our sense of smell is processed in a deep-seated part of our brains, the limbic system, a place that also processes our memories and emotion.

Given the close connection of odours and memories it is therefore unsurprising that a whole range of smells from the good to the bad to the ugly (who is to judge anyway) can elicit a broad spectrum of emotions.

Smells are known to jog memories and nostalgia and it is these deep associated sensory memories that jog our emotional state.

According to psychologist Dr Elena Touroni:

‘The smell itself doesn’t have to be particularly pleasant in order to provoke a positive memory. It’s very common and we purposefully use it as a psychological strategy in therapy – especially for those who have experienced trauma or have emotional difficulties, for example,’ she adds. It’s more about the association, rather than enjoyment of the thing itself.’

What odd smells bring comfort to you?

The metro reports with some readers quoting some odd nostalgic driven aromas here 

 

Got the Spring Time Bug?

Geosmin

The start of spring holds a characteristic outdoors odor. It’s a bit of dirt, mixed in with sharp greenness and an unmistakable whiff of ozone. Its called Geosmin and our noses are so finely tuned to this organic compound, in fact, that according to Popular Mechanics we can detect it better than sharks can recognize blood.

Buuuuuut as it finally turns out, the source of this smell, its er not so romantic.

For the very first time, excited scientists at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the John Innes Centre, and Lund University have identified why this distinct scent has persisted: a mutually-beneficial relationship between a six-legged worm, known as the springtail, and Streptomyces, a type of bacteria commonly found in soil.

Springtails are attracted to the smell of geosmin associated with the bacteria which basically then hitches a ride on Springtails that spread their tiny spores.

-Ed

Detailed source here – https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/environment/a32065673/spring-smell-geosmin-soil-springtails/

U.S. Forces in Korea are using vinegar as a smell test for coronavirus

Smell Testing in Korea

In Seoul, the US Forces are carrying out random vinegar smell tests on its bases to screen people possibly infected with COVID-19, the military said, following reports that losing the sense of smell or taste could be an indication of virus infection.

According to the Army Garrison, those personnel who cannot detect the smell of vinegar will be further screened, adding that studies have shown that the loss of smell is an early indicator of possible infection.

Vinegar really? How about you level up and buy some dem Jars of Smells for y’all boys in green…no vinegar inside, but you will find a nasal challenge that will make your nose hairs curl!

-Ed

Reported From – https://m-en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN2020040600900032

Can Peanut Butter Save Us from Coronavirus?

Peanut Butter

“Identifying asymptomatic carriers is absolutely critical in stopping the progression of the pandemic, I believe,” Professor Small says. “So if there is odour loss with some — even if it’s only a small percentage of people — identifying them as carriers would be significant.”

Losing one’s sense of smell isn’t like losing one’s car keys. When the keys go missing, you recognize the loss in an instant. But a person’s sense of smell can slip away quietly, over a period of time, without the person noticing it is going, going, going, until it is effectively gone.

Small and her pals agreed that a simple do-it-at-home sniff test, using common household items, would allow participants — the great mass of us — to start tracking their sense of smell. In this way, an asymptomatic carrier who feels like a million bucks, but notes a diminishing sense of smell one day to the next, could consider quarantining, ASAP, instead of carrying on until their olfactory sense disappears altogether.

Hence, says Small, the birth of the peanut butter sniff test. Peanut butter, so good on toast, and always a friend to jam, is a North American staple that stimulates the olfactory sense exclusively, unlike, say, ground coffee — a treat to inhale, no doubt — but a fragrance that fires both our sense of smell and the trigeminal nerve governing sensations like “pain and tickle,” which influence how one registers an odour.

As a control on the peanut butter, sniff-test participants are asked to breathe in a snout full of vinegar, another household staple, like coffee, that fires the trigeminal nerve. The big idea? If a subject is registering the vinegar, but the scent of the peanut butter is fading away, they can be confident their sense of smell is decreasing.

“If we find there is a trajectory of diminishing smell over days, we would be able to identify asymptomatic carriers, even before they were conscious of losing their smell,” says Small. “And in those, let’s say, five days, there could otherwise be lots of transmissions.”

And what if you have a peanut butter allergy? Ouch!

Check out TMB’s Jars of Smells… a box full of mysterious, randomised smells that help fine-tune your schnozzz. And who knows peanut butter might be one of the smells you might encounter!?  

https://topmiddlebase.com/product/jar-of-smells/

-Ed

Originally reported on here – https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/heroes-of-the-pandemic-a-canadian-professor-has-a-peanut-butter-sniff-test-to-combat-covid-19

Love the Smell of Gasoline? You are Not Alone!

Fuel Empty

Gasoline is a chemical cocktail comprised of many ingredients
Chief amongst these is Benzene which is added to gasoline to increase octane levels whilst also giving gas its characteristic gassy smell.
Naturally a sweet smell Benzene is also quite pungent.

So getting to the WHY, there are 2 strong reasons WHY some people cannot get enough of the stuff:

1 – Emotion Says Sniffing on the gas is bringing back pleasant memories such as filling up the tank before heading out on a family road trip, or some excitement you may have had around a bike, a boat or even the plane.

2 – Science Says whiffing on the gas is firing up your mesolimbic pathway. What this means is that Benzene may be dancing on your olfactory nerve endings, resulting in a slight head tingle.

What is the true answer? Possibly a touch of both?

Vroom Vroom

Speaking of smells. Have a go at T/M/B Jars of Smells.

The ultimate tool for fine-tuning your schnoz. Play this as a game with friends, the expressions will be completely grammable.

Includes smells like Honey, Rain, Garbage, Gasoline, Chocolate & Fresh Cut Grass….a completely randomized set in every box guaranteed!

– Ed

Research Source – https://www.discovermagazine.com/health/why-some-people-love-the-smell-of-gasoline

Self-Monitoring Your Sense of Smell May Help Detect Coronavirus

A healthy (or unhealthy) sense of smell has always been likened to the ‘canary in the cole mine, alerting us to possibly underlying health conditions. It is no surprise that this human sensory tool is now being linked to the early identification of COVID-19

Along with fever, cough and shortness of breath – many coronavirus (COVID-19) patients report a temporary loss of their sense of smell. It appears that olfactory loss is significantly greater in COVID-19 patients compared to the loss that is often experienced during a cold, and less commonly, in non-COVID-19 influenza patients. In some countries, such as France, a patient who claims to have a sudden onset of olfactory loss will be diagnosed as a coronavirus patient – without even being tested. A similar approach is being considered in the UK. Based on this data, Weizmann Institute scientists, in collaboration with the Edith Wolfson Medical Center, developed SmellTracker – an online platform that enables self-monitoring of an individual’s sense of smell – for the purpose of detecting early signs of COVID-19 or in the absence of other symptoms.

Reported by – https://www.miragenews.com/self-monitoring-sense-of-smell-may-help-detect-coronavirus/

Funky quarantine fiancé

stench, smelly

Doing it tough in Jamaica, do you have any similar situation?

“My fiancé and I have decided to live together during the quarantine period to reduce the amount spent on bills.
Please note that while we have gone out and spent time together before, we have never been in close contact for so much time before.

I’ve noticed that not only does he eat a lot of junk, but he passes a lot of gas, and his bowel movements are extremely foul smelling. He also has an offensive body and breath odour in the morning, no matter if he bathes at night.
he only ‘healthy’ food he will eat is callaloo. (A popular Caribbean vegetable dish!)”

Er…covid-19 may have just averted a very unpleasant (smelling) andforeverafter!!

Full piece here – http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/all-woman/funky-quarantine-fianc-_190473

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