Sweet Peas And Mouldy Cheese


Stop and smell the roses. Those chocolate chip cookies smell like home. We’re not surprised to hear of scents that trigger memories and make us happy. But are scents associated more broadly with different emotions?


We can start with this..

Please complete these sentences as quickly as you can. If no idea comes to mind, leave it blank:

• I get happy smelling:
• I get disgusted smelling:
• I get angry smelling:
• I get anxious smelling:
• I get surprised smelling:
• I get sad smelling:

Which of these was easiest to answer? Did you leave any blank?

If you’re like the subjects in the research of Ilona Croy, Selda Olgum and Peter Joraschky – from the University of Dresden Medical School – then you found it easiest to conjure up relevant smells for Disgust (99%), Happiness (98%) or, somewhat less easily, Anxiety (76%). Did you like others, find it most difficult to link odors to Sadness (43%) or Anger (53%)?

These Dresden researchers are building on other research that shows a particularly vivid relationship between emotions and smelling. The most commonly mentioned Happy Odors were flowers/plants (58%) followed by food (26%). The top Odors to evoke Disgust were death and waste (55%) and food (14%) or  oft aligned scents(15%) such as raw meat, moldy cheese, ammonia, sulfur and perfume. The Top Anxious Odors were gas, burnt things, charred things and fire.


Header: Pink Sweet Peas 2. Georgia O’Keefe. 1927


That Scream


Can't Spell That

Elizabeth Newton

Elizabeth Newton