Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Remember "house-i-tosis"?

…HA has cats. So HA’s house has a nice, er, elemental odor sometimes.

…When you walk in and decide to move out, this distinctive odor deal has gone too far.

…A few years ago, HA wrote a story for WebMD on how your house’s smell can affect your emotions, efficiency, even safety.

…Febreze did a survey—75% of Americans don’t clean up to 75% of their surfaces on a regular basis—namely the soft areas, like couches, curtains, and pillows.

…That nice frying bacon smell can degrade and sink into fabric (remember, this is Febreze talking).

…Smells and emotions are very primitively linked. Walk through a perfume dept and remember past loves, that kind of thing. This is called the Proust effect, from the story in which a man is plunged into the past upon eating a cookie.

…This is our “smell brain” at work—the very basic “good/bad” area that detects danger, fire, sex or prey.

…You know right away—yum or ewww.

…People can’t describe smells well, but they can nail the emotion the smell engenders.

…So substituting “good smells” is tricky. Peppermint, citrus, even a new fruity deal called osmanthus, are candidates.

…Peppermint helps zip you up—good for homework hour.

…Good smells jumpstart creativity.

…Bad ones cause accidents, family arguments, psychiatric admissions and 911 calls.

…What will people think when they step through your door?

…Most people think other people’s houses have a smell, but theirs doesn’t.

…Good luck with that one.

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