Updated: Aug 16
I do a lot of fayres and so I get to see people’s unfiltered expressions when they smell my candles. Most of the time I’m glad to say the look is an appreciative one…but not always. This makes me wonder, why it is we sometimes have an aversion to a scent which 99% of people find pleasurable.
For me it’s peach, I can’t bear it. The sickly sweetness brings tears to my eyes. I’ve not always hated peach, in fact, as a child I loved it. I can trace the exact time I went off peach to Gran Canaria, 1997 - my first girls holiday. Too much sun, sea and….schnapps, Peach Schnapps to be precise. Fast forward 24 years and the negative association is still as strong as ever.
What about the opposite? Have you ever loved a smell which most people find repulsive? Petrol? Sharpies? For me it’s sewers. I know, I know. I don’t love it as in “I would buy a candle that smells of sewers” (Gwyneth don’t be getting any ideas) but I certainly don’t hate it. I’ve thought about this a lot and tried to figure out where I would have made this association. It was only on my fifth trip to Thailand that it became clear. Bangkok smells overwhelmingly of durian fruit. If you have never had the delight of smelling this fruit all you need to know is that it is banned on public transport as it smells so bad. Smells just like sewers, in fact……
I’ve had so many lovely times in Thailand, great holidays with friends and family and at many points those positive experiences occurred in the presence of the potent aroma of durian fruit. So now, when I smell sewers, those warm feelings resurface. Classical conditioning at it’s best.
So I’m sorry to say, I have no intention of releasing a peach candle any time soon, but durian fruit…..who nose?
I hope you enjoyed my first blog entry. Let me know in the comments what weird likes and dislikes you have.