Psychology of Smell Expert with Best-Selling Author Rachel Herz

Psychology of Smell Expert with Best-Selling Author Rachel Herz

Many people tend to take their sense of smell for granted – but it may be one of the most important ones.  After all, smell was the very first sense to evolve and can have the most direct impact on how we feel.

Experts tell us scents can help energize us and transform our way of thinking. This effect can be immediate or spontaneous, affecting how we interact with the world around us.

For instance – think about taking a whiff of:

  • A decadent dessert made of pumpkin and melted caramel with subtle notes of sparkling ginger and nutmeg
  • Tempting scents of spicy cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon as you step foot into a hidden café
  • Patchouli and blossoms intermingling with the smell of your cherry-red leather jacket on a crisp autumn night

Did these scents bring out feelings of exhilaration and temptation or perhaps create a longing for the upcoming autumn season? Leading world expert on the psychology of smell and professor from Brown University and Boston College, Rachel Herz, Ph.D., understands the powerful impact our sense of smell has on our emotional state. Herz says, “Of all our five senses, our sense of smell is most strongly and directly linked to the part of the brain that processes emotions and memories. None of our other senses have that power, which is why it’s so important – it affects our day-to-day behavior and the way we interact with others.”

Join me in a recent Michigan Mom Living exclusive interview with Rachel Herz, Ph D., as she describes how smells transform our mood and emotions that relate directly to memories like changes in the Seasons.   She also discusses smell sensitivities and Glades new Autumn Collection.

Here’s the complete interview:

Rachel Herz, PhD & Author Bio

Rachel Herz, Ph.D. is a neuroscientist and leading world expert on the psychological science of smell. She has been conducting research on the sense of smell, emotion, perception, motivated behavior and cognition since 1990.  Dr. Herz has published over 75 original research papers, received numerous awards and grants, co-authored several college textbooks, and is an adjunct professor at Brown University and Boston College.   She is also a professional consultant to various industries regarding smell, taste, food and flavor, and is frequently called upon as an expert witness in legal cases involving olfaction.  Dr. Herz is the author of two popular science books, The Scent of Desire: Discovering Our Enigmatic Sense of Smellwhich was selected as a finalist for the “2009 AAAS Prize for Excellence in Science Books,” and That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion, which analyzes the emotion of disgust from culture to neuroscience, and has received numerous accolades from both popular and scholarly presses.  Currently in the process of publication, Rachel Herz has a new book that explores how our senses and psychology govern our perception of food, and the experience and consequences of eating.

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Cynthia Tait

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