Do you want people to trust you?
Spritz the air with lavender.
Tired of picking up after your kids? Do you want them to pick up their own clothes and hang up their towels?
Try misting the air with peppermint.
Numerous studies and research have shown a link between smell and our behavior. These range from responding to the smell of lavender and being soothed into a sense of trust, to picking up items off the floor because of being more alert and energetic with the smell of peppermint. Customers will spend more money given the right environment and exposure to certain smells. Even our choice of partner is affected by the way they smell.
This hypothesis is supported by the fact that, from an anatomical point of view, the olfactory nerve is connected to the medial pre-frontal cortex, a brain region that ‘controls’ the way we trust others.
Perhaps using certain fragrances could be helpful in negotiations, bargaining or any kind of team spirit building. Fragrance is most certainly used purposefully, when it comes to attracting customers into retail environments, and that is totally acceptable.
What about our identity as unique beings? How does smell give us a unique strength as an individual? We are all unique and each one of us connects to smell in our own unique way. We all have smells that are favorites and smells that are endearing and also, smells that make us shudder. Of course they relate back to memories and these memories go way back, but they also have a specific, unique, sense intelligence connection.
All of us have the capacity to ‘smell something a bit fishy’ and back away from it. All of us can ‘sniff out a good deal’ and know we are onto something. We can ‘follow our nose’ and find our way home. Unwittingly we use our sense of smell as a guide for making judgements of trust and decisions about our beliefs every day. We each have our own unique internal guidance system for doing this which comes from our sense of smell. Once we know what it is we can consciously use it as easily as we use our google map to find our way home in the car.
Mark Twain said: Forgiveness is the smell that lavender gives out when you tread on it.
It is really exciting to learn more about smell intelligence because it has such a powerful impact on relationships at work and at home. Once you understand your own unique smell connections you can be proactive with trust because it can be an inner strength you rely on. Not just a concept in your head or a feeling you hope will happen.