|Who could resist stopping for a whiff of these?|
This post was originally intended to explore the fascinating and rather mysterious role that pheromones play in physical attraction. In overly-simplistic and decidedly unscientific terms, pheromones are chemical secretions from one creature that can affect the behavior of another creature of the same species. Sounds simple, yet intriguing and maybe even a little sexy, too, right?
A quick internet search reveals that there are perfumes
and colognes claiming to be chock-full of these “mood creating” pheromones. But don’t strain your credit card’s limits
just yet, because research also reveals that while it widely accepted that
pheromones play a role here, scientists have not yet identified the pheromone
that acts as a sexual attractant in
humans. (They’ve isolated other
pheromones, like fear.) And they’ve
pinpointed the role of this magnetizing pheromone in insects and some mammal
species--like pigs and deer. Thus, hormones
from those species are being added to the perfumes with the assumption/hope
they will work on people. Um, a pig
attractant? No thanks...
|Definitely some pheromones at work here...|
|Carol dated this one back in the late 80's...|
But we know those pheromones are there, right? And the fact is there’s plenty that is potent--and yes, romantic, about the olfactory nerve. Bottom line--we like things that smell nice--perfume, cologne, shampoo, lotion, potpourri, flowers, food...
And what science has proven is that the sense of smell can stir up some very powerful emotions. That’s why as writers we often describe the way a scene--or our hero or heroine--smells. Odors evoke memories, yank us into a mood, and even instantly transport us into the past...
The way a cozy house filled with a yeasty, cinnamon scent can put you in the middle of Grandma’s kitchen where a fresh batch of pecan sticky buns awaits.
|Mmmm....Love You, Grandma!|
Or how a whiff of spicy fir boughs conjures up that best-Christmas-ever morning when you finally got that Barbie Malibu Mansion or the red and black, three-speed bicycle of your dreams.
Has anyone ever walked through the perfume counter in a department store and been catapulted back to the prom with their high school sweetheart? Or had the aroma of a sweet rose remind them of the best Valentine’s Day they’ve ever had? What scents conjure up your sweetest memories? Is there a certain sweetness in the air that is guaranteed to take you away?