The Personality of Smell
Imagine for a moment that you have been
asked about the personality and colour of smell in a job interview. What would
you talk about? It is known that some people visualise colours when they smell
certain scents, and this is apparently more common in artists. Perhaps it is
possible to train the brain to recognise scents from other sensations.
Let's keep it simple and focus on a few
specific scents and describe visual characteristics and memory prompts.
Coffee is the first. The smell of freshly
brewed coffee, or coffee beans roasting in an oven must be familiar to
everyone. Coffee is exotic and exuberant, dancing in the streets of Rio de
Janeiro clothed in bright coloured feathers, attracting crowds. No shrinking
violet is coffee. In your face, loving media attention, alert, head turningly
attractive, ready for anything. That is the personality of coffee.
Somewhat gentler is the scent of lemon.
Soft downy day old chicks, pale yellow baby shawls, flowers imitate the colour
beautifully. A confused fruit that looks so very inviting but the juicy flesh
is bitter like an unmarried aunt. Memories of walking in Mediterranean fields
with crushed thyme and mint triggering lemon like whiffs, but never quite
succeeding. Tall, thin and acerbic, a bit stand offish, an observer rather than
a game player. That is the personality of lemon.
And now for garlic. Garlic is a bumbling
Pickwickian character, with black greasy hair sleeked back with Brylcreem, a
waddling gait and a sweaty handshake. He is a seedy vacuum cleaner salesman who
wheedles his way into your home and leaves you with a bad taste in the mouth.
On the positive side, he loves entertaining and having his large family around
for spectacular Italian dinners al fresco. He never bothers the very young or
very elderly and is indulged by many for his good nature and loyalty. A
colourful character who may burst into song with a glass of red wine in his
The scent of rose is altogether different.
Overpoweringly seductive, she is approaching middle age, her face heavily made
up. Her hair is bleached blonde and bouffant style, maintained with strong hold
hair spray. Her ample bosom straining to be free of her expensive French
lingerie, she walks with a flick of the hips which openly states her
availability. Beware young men, she might tempt you into dangerous ways! When seen strolling down the High Street, men
doff their caps to her hiding a hint of a smirk, while women indignantly rustle
their skirts and turn the other way.
Now have I got you thinking about
personalities and smell? Where will your imagination lead you? Your turn to
try. Your interviewers will be impressed.