Why do we go to all the trouble to smell so nice? Because as Dr. Alan Hirsch, director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation explains, scents are extremely powerful influencers of the human mood.
"One thing to understand is that, in a very intrinsic way, you are as you smell," he says. "If you smell good, people perceive you're good. If you smell bad, people think you're bad. Your underlying human soul is manifest based on the way you smell."
In other words, the bouquets we encounter are critical to how we judge others, and in turn, to how we are judged — you don't have to like it, you might not even be consciously aware of it, but there's no getting around it. Hirsch says the part of the human brain that processes smell in humans is closely tied to our emotions, leading us to make split-second decisions based on what the nose knows.
"The quickest way to induce a change in emotion or behavior, quicker than almost any other sensory modality, is with smell," he says. "You'll smell a smell, and you'll immediately decide, 'I like it, or I don't like it.'" This goes for products and people, too.