By the Blouin News Science & Health staff

Study looks at chemical make-up of smells

by in Research.

(Source: Dennis Wong/flickr)

(Source: Dennis Wong/flickr)

The science behind olfactory senses and brain activity has fascinated researchers for centuries, namely the puzzling relationships between smell, memory and behavior. This month saw unique approaches to the study of smell from both the academic world (via a new study by Columbia University) and the technology one.

Let’s start with Vapor Communications, which unveiled “Cyrano” last week: a “digital scent speaker and mood modification platform” in the form of a small electronic device that plays series of scents the company calls “mood medleys.” Cyrano is designed to address “olfactory fatigue” — a side effect of over-exposure to scents such as candles. Olfactory fatigue includes the temporary inability to distinguish odors because of such exposure. Cyrano allows users to make scent playlists, and taps into the visceral connection between olfactory and memory…

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