Of all our senses, the olfactory sense, or sense of smell, is the most intimately connected with the brain. Our sense of smell provides us with critical information about our surroundings.
Although it may be tempting to consider masking an unwelcome smell with some commercial product, it may not always be the best idea.
Although we enjoy choosing products with an attractive fragrance, they may carry other than a moment of pleasure. In fact, our response to it, may involve the immune system, and signal a life threatening event. In consideration of this issue, consumers should be well informed about the ingredients of any product affecting our olfactory sense.
So then, in addition to covering up an odor, which may prevent us from resolving the source of the problem, the physiological response may signal a life or death situation. Frequent exposure to some airborne chemicals, may also initiate chronic health problems affecting the lungs, as well as other organ systems.
The developers of commercial products spend millions of dollars to romance our sense of smell. Whether it’s good for us or not, a product having the most wonderful, universally seductive smell, will likely become a commercial success. The industrial process does not always include long term studies of how a product will impact the potential variety of consumers that will purchase it.
The first clue that our olfactory sense is largely taken for granted until an offensive smell comes along, is the number of words that refer to smell. The list is interesting. There are the good ones like fragrance, bouquet, and scent. Then there is putrid, stench, & odor.
In any group of people, it may be a challenge to find more than a few who enjoy the same fragrance, or bouquet. However, most of that group will react to stench, and putrid. Commercial product advertisement strives to make consumers feel they have to cover up unwanted smells, Opening a window, or using the AC for a few minutes might be better health choice.
It does seem evident that our sense of smell, like our other senses, establishes a threshold of alarm to keep us safe. Therefore, covering up smells that are in any way offensive, may not be good for our health. First, because the cause of the smell may not be a good thing to ignore, and second, because the chemicals used to cover up the smell may be even worse.
Generally speaking, household air does not really have a significant smell. However, air in general contains particles, and chemicals that donate information to our olfactory sense. When it comes to commercial products, sold to us based on how they smell, or how they cover up smells, let the buyer beware.
These are artificially created chemicals that may initiate an allergic response, such as asthma. Although they are heavily advertised, we can choose to ignore them. “Let the buyer beware” should be on their label. They may cover up an occasional bad smell, and create a health problem that lasts a lifetime.