Toast, perfume and washing powder are the smells most likely to hit you when you walk through the door of your home,1 according to a new study.
Researchers have identified the aromas2 which they claim make a house a home, with washing powder making up 34 percent of the scent. Freshly made toast accounts for another 22 percent of the scent, while perfume makes up 17 percent. Other smells which will typically hit you as you step through front doors around Britain include last night’s dinner (10 percent), flowers (12 percent), coffee (5 percent) and pets.
Seven percent of Britons—around 1.5 million—claim that a unique smell is what makes their house a home, above the furniture or décor3. Half admit the whiff of home makes them feel safe and warm, whilst it leaves one in 10 feeling agitated.4 A third of people have tried to recreate a certain smell to make them feel more at home. A further third have been put off5 buying a property because of how it smelt and three quarters believe you can find out a great deal about a person from the smell of their home. Four in 10 people have avoided visiting someone because of the smell of their home.
The study also found that one in five people love the smell of their home so much they want to bottle it and take it with them. Three in 10 wish they could have whiffs of their own home while on holiday. A further two in 5 would like to smell their living room while out shopping as the smell of home makes a third feel relaxed and stress-free.
Professor Tim Jacob, an expert in the psychology of smell at Cardiff University, said: “Smells make a house a home because of the positive associations being ‘home’ has. Your home is filled with the things you love—your children, partner, perfume, pets—so when you smell them, you instantly feel better and at ease.
People respond well to familiar smells. Scents which are alien make us feel on edge until we’ve identified the source and assessed that it’s not harmful.”6
1. toast: 烤面包；perfume: 香水。
2. aroma: （广义的）气味。
3. décor: （房间的）装饰风格。
4. whiff: 些微的气味；whilst: = while；agitated: 不安的。
5. put off: 推迟，拖延。
6. on edge: 紧张，烦躁；assess: 估计，评价。