Since we are Westerners, we are surrounded by the array of scents and fragrances offered to us in service stores or simply become accustomed to the smells of our daily lives, such as smog and pollution.
Despite this, scholars have always wondered if the perception of the world of smell is different for other, non-Western cultures. Recently, an empirical study was conducted considering three factors: a) the origin of the individual is not outside an industrial setting; b) the cultural traditions of man, c) the way of life. The selection was made bearing in mind that we are so accustomed to smells in the environment that some non-industrial peoples, such as groups of hunters and gatherers, or those who work in agriculture, are not.
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To conduct the study, ten scents were selected and rated on a pleasant-distasteful scale. Subsequently, 225 individuals from different cultures were selected, who, by means of aroma diffusers, assimilated the scents they liked or disliked.
The first results showed that the origin of a person does not affect the choice of smell as the most pleasant, as it was believed that the classification of smells within the cultural traditions of an individual determines to some extent what smells pleasant and what is not, however, the choice of individuals, despite different cultural backgrounds, Focus on the common scent: vanilla.
This was interesting to the scientists because, thanks to this experiment, they realized that the cultural factor had very little influence on the classification of smells.
What is more relevant to a person’s decision or his cultural traditions?
The next step was to link the culture to the individual decision of the people. The experiment showed that the origin had very little effect on the classification of odors.
“We found that culture explained only 6% of the variance, while it was 54% due to individual variance, while odor identity explained 41% of the variance in ratings,” the study says.
What does this show? That culture is motivated by a preference for a particular scent, but the rest is explained by choose one Regardless of the cultural classification of smells where they come from, as well as the style of living and the environment of the home.
The data showed that the preferred scent was vanilla and the least preferred was isovaleric acid found in dairy products and apple juice. This study was conducted in addition to a previous study of New York City residents who rated 476 smelly or pleasant smells.
The study’s conclusions state that “Crucially, we show that there is a universal basis for olfactory perception that is common to all people.” This finding is taken into account that people’s choice determines their choice of scents to a greater extent than their cultural origin.
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