In the dark annals of history it served to protect us from danger as we came down from the trees and raised ourselves onto two feet. So strongly attached to our development is it that it is connected to multiple different neurological systems, and as such can trigger memories in a way that little else can. With it we can identify our favorite dish, or pick up the wafting scent of our favorite person, that’s right, Sense of Smell Day is dedicated to this most amazing of our (far more than five) senses.
History of Sense of Smell
The Sense of Smell Institute sponsors this holiday for reasons so obvious we needn’t mention it. The importance of the sense of smell is often overlooked, and some don’t truly appreciate how much of a role it plays in every day of our lives. Some of the most important and comforting things we can experience are intricately tied to our sense of smell, and our sense of smell becomes much less discerning without it. The Sense of Smell Institute is the research and education division of The Fragrance Foundation.
Interesting things that this institute has managed to unveil is the fact that no two people smell odors in quite the same way. As the day progresses your sense of smell gets stronger, with the evening representing our strongest sense of smell. This makes a certain amount of sense when you consider that during the day our sight is the most important sense in identifying dangers, and at night, it could be a scent on the wind that saved our ancestors. Another interesting revelation is that Vitamin A is not, as purported, good for our eyesight by and large, but is actually vitally important for our sense of smell. A lack of it can actually cause Anosmia! (An odd little word that means ‘loss of a sense of smell’.)
How to Celebrate Sense of Smell Day
The best way to celebrate Sense of Smell Day is to give our little sniffer a work-out. Try savoring new scents throughout the day, and really take some time to appreciate all the various odors that cross your path. While it was generally a feast for all the sense, you can even get together with friends and play a game called “The Pleasure Room”, where you take turns trying to identify things by smell. Maybe even set up some surprises and get smells that are really close to each other, or smell very much alike but are from incredibly different sources. All sorts of fun can be had on Sense of Smell Day!