More research on the differences in our scent perception

A recent article in Inside Science describes more evidence that people experience scents differently. (Perfume In Progress has followed this research topic for a number of years; you can find a series of posts about it by searching for the #genetics tag on our posts.)

In this experiment, researchers broke the common smell of potato chips into three main aromatic molecules that smell like rotten cabbage, roasted potato, and toast when they are sniffed individually. When the three molecules are combined in the right ratio, they smell like potato chips. The researchers measured each person’s sensitivity to each molecule, which varied widely; people could be “tens of thousands of times” more sensitive to one molecule than to another, and each person had a unique sensitivity profile. Despite these different sensitivities to the individual components, three of four people could identify the mixture as potato chips based on their previous experience with eating potato chips. The article says, “Most of us know a potato chip when we sniff it. But at the chemical level, a new study shows, our noses smell quite different things.”

An article from 2013 described a study that found a 30% difference in people’s scent receptors in their noses, showing that genes play a role in why we have these different sensitivities to aroma molecules. The article says, “The human nose contains 400 different olfactory receptors – and Dr Mainland’s team found that changing a single receptor could dramatically change the way a person perceives a smell.”

Just something to think about when you discuss perfume with your friends! 🙂

Checking in…

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I’m working on mods for two scents that are both close to being done; one is the chocolate gourmand that I’ve mentioned before, and one is the floral that I worked on last summer with orange blossom, mimosa, and jasmine. I’m very close to posting a link to the webpage for the gourmand.

Sadly, I gave up on the new 4 ml travel sprays. I loved the look of them, but the sprayers did not seem as reliable my previous 5 ml standbys, so I went back to those.

I have sold out of the batch of Lieu de Reves that I made a few months ago. I will probably wait until fall to make another batch. I’m focused now on finishing the two new scents and releasing them.

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We’ve had a lot of rain here in northern California this winter, and we’re now having a very green spring. The oak trees are pushing out lots of new growth, something they have not done for years because of the drought. I had planted a new wisteria on the arbor last fall and was excited to see it bloom even though it is still small.  The plum tree and daffodils have finished blooming, and the roses and sweet peas are just starting to bloom — I love spring. 🙂