Monday, May 30, 2011

Invention of the day: Deodorant

Don't use deodorant if you feel happy. Let everybody smell your success ;)

In The Social Animal, David Brooks writes about smell:

Smell is a surprisingly powerful sense in these [emotional] situations. People who lose their sense of smell suffer greater emotional deterioration than people who lose their vision. ... smell is a powerful way to read emotions. In one experiment conducted at the Monell Center, researchers asked men and women to tape gauze pads under their arms and then watch either a horror movie or a comedy. Research subjects ... then sniffed the pads. They could somehow tell, at rates higher than chance, which pads had the smell of laughter and which pads had the smell of fear, and women were much better at this test than men. (p. 16).

We can think of deodorants as Photoshop tools for smells: they mask, they enhance, they make perception less personal, and somewhat harder to interpret.

Here's some of the original recipes from the patent issued to Jules B. Montenier, obviously a French guy, on Jan 28,1941.

tags: invention, problem, solution, psychology,  social

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