Out of our five senses, smell is often considered the one most associated with memory, with one whiff capable of detonating the flood gates of all things past.
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That's because our olfactory bulb is a part of the brain's limbic system, an area closely related to long term memory, emotion and pleasure. There's even been studies showing that the olfactory tubercle, a structure within the base of the forebrain, is influenced by sound.
So it's by no mistake that a team from Keio University in Tokyo and the National University of Singapore (NUS) have built a system of smells and sounds to create a unique and lasting first impression.
Their Sound Perfume system is a pair of glasses equipped with speakers and scent emitters located behind the ears. It's all run by a smart phone app that connects to the glasses via Bluetooth. Infrared sensors in the glasses detect when you encounter other users equipped with Sound Perfume. Your smart phone sends your name, contact number and sound/smell selections to their smart phone, which triggers your soundtrack and scent in their glasses. Think of it as your own personal jukebox with a spritz of cologne or perfume to enhance the mood.
Yongsoon Choi and his team from NUS tested Sound Perfume on 52 people and found that it helped people form a positive first impression.
According to New Scientist, Choi said participants "seemed to enjoy the new stimuli and diverse information during face-to-face interaction."
Sure, this may be a cumbersome idea with uber-dorky white glasses, but on purely pheromonal and aural levels, it's a pretty cool concept.
Which begs the question: What would your Sound Perfume preferences be? Here's mine: