Scent Playlists Are a Real Thing

By Rosunnara R.
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Imagine getting a whiff of the ocean at a beach-themed house party or the smell of fresh lemons while playing Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Sounds impossible, right? Thanks to the creation of scent playlists, these ideas are now a reality.

Let’s take a look at the effects of aromas, the groundbreaking scent speakers and how they can potentially benefit your health.

The Human Connection to Scents

Humans aren't always conscious of surrounding scents and their effects. But scents can entice us or repulse us, depending on the source. For instance, the smell of spoiled food leads to a reaction of disgust, while the scent of lavender leads to a state of relaxation. Additionally, the smell of smoke can impact your physical health by increasing your heart rate.

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Photo Courtesy: CC0/Pxfuel

Scents can also awaken memories, moods and emotions. When you smell brownies, you may remember baking with your mother. When a whiff of perfume comes your way, you’re reminded of a past lover. Just like music, scents can trigger different feelings for different people. If we can create music playlists to switch on memories and emotions, can we create our own scent playlists to do the same?

Meet the Scent Playlist

Developed by Vapor Communications, Cyrano is a small cylindrical "speaker" that "plays" different scents. It's controlled by an app called oNotes, which allows you to manage and select different aromas. Choose a pre-made playlist from the app's library, or create your own playlist. Some fans call this innovation a swappable air freshener or a fragrance jukebox.

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Photo Courtesy: Vapor Communications/YouTube

Cyrano purposely rotates the scents because the human nose adapts to smells after a few minutes. As a result, the strength of the scent fades away.

Vapor Communications founder David Edwards told Mashable, "One of the peculiar things about the way we smell is that after about seven or eight minutes, we don't smell it anymore. So if you have a constant scent, you go 'deaf,' or get what's called olfactory fatigue." For instance, when you first enter a cafe, you’re flooded with the sweet smell of bread or fresh coffee. After 10 minutes or so, you don’t notice the aroma as much.

Users can also pair their scent playlists with music. Each track can be matched with a different scent. Other features include favoriting scents and queuing up playlists. Basically, it’s a unique form of aromatherapy.

The Scents:

According to oNotes, there are three scent playlists available: Central Park, Einstein and Surfside. Each stirs up different emotions and responses thanks to a wide variety of essential oils and synthetic molecules.

Central Park stimulates users to relax. Yes, it was named after the famous park in Manhattan. The creators made the scent to imitate the pleasant air in Central Park, from the sweet flowers and cut grass to the fresh waffle cones. With this scent, you’ll feel like you’re sitting on a bench right in Central Park.

Need a boost of energy? oNotes insists the Einstein scent will do the job and help you concentrate. Einstein features rosemary, lemon, grapefruit, tea leaf, peppermint and seaside.

If you want to escape, transport yourself to the beach with Surfside. The creators combined hints of suntan lotion, guava, lime and salt to take you to a vacation filled with seas and sand.

The Purpose

Cyrano was designed to easily lift a person's mood and spirit with aromas. When someone needs a quick pick-me-up or a way to relax, they can turn to scents for support.

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Photo Courtesy: Vapor Communications/YouTube

Does it really work? Edwards carried out a small test, examining the effects of Cyrano in a work environment. Siemens Corporation volunteered for the study and tried out two scents (Surfside and Einstein) for almost six weeks. After the first week, 80% of employees still used the scent speakers. Almost 50% of the users described an improvement in their moods. Those who used it more also scored better on emotional intelligence tests. Many people turned the speakers on at 3 p.m.

Scents from the environment are known to improve health and well-being. For instance, the smell of freshly cut grass can promote joy and reduce stress, which gives you a great excuse to mow the lawn. Lavender can relieve sleep problems and depression. A whiff of olive oil can ward off cravings. As a result, aromatherapy has been a popular way to use sweet-smelling essential oils to boost physical, emotional and mental health.

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