5 Surprising Effects of Odors


It’s no surprise that bad odors can create an unpleasant environment or experience, but what exactly happens when we’re exposed to stinky stuff? From impacts on mood, to ability to focus, to interactions with others, bad smells – or malodors, as they are scientifically known – can legitimately ruin your day.

Here are 5 surprising negative effects of odors.

1) Mood

Turns out that simply existing in a smelly place can not only cause you general discomfort, but can lead to feelings of confusion, hostility, and exhaustion. According to a study from 2020, individuals exposed to malodor reported experiencing a suite of unpleasant and mood-altering sensations like aggression, lethargy, and depression.

2) Stress levels

In the same vein, stress levels increase when you are exposed to malodors. This, according to the same study, is because an inability to fix a bad smell is perceived as a loss of control over your environment. Fortunately, there is an easy way to eliminate malodors. Febreze doesn’t simply mask a bad smell but uses odor-eliminating ingredients and unique technology to trap and neutralize odor molecules.

3) Cognition

Many sectors of the economy have been working from home for the duration of the global pandemic. If your home office was also where you eat, cook or work out, it may have gotten stinky. Research shows that simple cognitive tasks are adversely affected by malodor exposure, in addition to complex tasks like proofreading. Here’s a special shout out to anyone who needs to review written work during their day-to-day: take advantage of an odor eliminator like Febreze that can tackle a range of odor types – from fatty or fishy cooking smells that linger to body odors and sweat.

4) Economic

Trying to sell your home? If it’s stinky, its value may decrease. Trying to sell a product or service? If your place of business smells bad, you can say goodbye to potential or repeat customers. Our sense of smell helps process information in the same area of the brain where emotions and memories reside.

Some studies suggest that the effects can be even more wide-reaching. Wall Street should pay attention. A low Air Quality Index score in the stock exchange may heighten people’s aversion to risk and lead to lower stock returns.

5) Social

Picture this: you’re vaccinated. Your friends are vaccinated. You are finally comfortable inviting them over, and when they arrive, they wrinkle their noses and sneak glances at each other. You regret inviting people over and resolve to wait a very long time to do it again.

The presence of bad smells can lead to less frequent social interactions because of feelings of embarrassment. They can also lead people to perceive you as socially undesirable and equate that with visual attractiveness.

Whether you will feel the impacts of malodors primarily at home, at work, or in social settings, consider the solution at hand. And remember, there are a range of Febreze odor-eliminating options depending on your affinity for fragrance, from Febreze Fabric Refresher Free and Febreze Light up to the more intense and complex scents of Febreze Unstopables.

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