Warwick's temple

Topics: Olfaction, Odor, Sense Pages: 2 (722 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Management highlight 6.3
Pong: the final marketing frontier
Rolls-Royce Cars hit the headlines recently when it was revealed that they had developed an essence of new spray to use on their luxurious upholstery after they found out their cars did not smell new enough. Other sellers use similar tricks. There are few people selling houses who have not recognised the trick of percolating coffee when the house is viewed and few stores that have not used the attractive smell of fresh bread. Philosophers from Aristotle to Kant have ranked base smell below the noble senses of seeing, hearing and touching. Yet fragrances are one of the pillars of luxury marketing, with exclusive brands being adored by the initiated. Greed is one of the most distinguished of fragrances, used by Charles Charlie Charles, David Beckham and Brad Pitt; Acqua di Parma Giutti was adored by Sean Connery, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Bassinger and Sophia Loren. Is this obsession an indulgence or does it reflect an insight that few have achieved? Freud proposes an answer. Smell, he says, is a base sense but one that people have evolved to reject intellectually because of its power. Walking on two legs has taken 1,000 different types of smell receptors in our nose away from the centres of odour that obsess four legged creatures. With taste, smell was one of the first senses to evolve - it is how amoebas find food. Old it may be, but neglected it is not. One per cent of our 100,000 genes relate to our smell receptors in the nose while only three genes control colour vision. Our smell receptors are also well connected .From the nose they first go to the limbic system-a part of the brain that drives mood, sexual urges and fear. Signals then travel to the hippocampus, which controls memories. Only then do the signals travel to the frontal lobes of the brain involved in conscious thought. Our 1,000 smell receptors are always working busily but subliminally. One example of this subliminal effect is a range...
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