Last week on the radio I head about a study where the determined what scents in a car made you relax, which kept you alert, and which would promote road rage. The study was done by the RAC Foundation out of the United Kingdom. Even after looking around on their website I have no idea just what they do or just how credible they are but the results seem to make sense. The next time I manage people I am going to have cinnamon and peppermint treats in my office to help keep the team alert. I also think I am going to make sure I eat less in my car to help keep myself mellow and my rage low – like I ever would snap. An interesting thing is that scents that keep you mellow are not that great for your car as they can put you to sleep. Use the mellow scents for those long baths.
Here is a link to the study results.
Quotes from the study:
Dangerous smells to be aware of are:
· Camomile, Jasmine, and Lavender – these are all used to treat insomnia and can cause drivers to become over relaxed behind the wheel. They are also present in many "flowery" air fresheners.
· The smell of fast food wrappers, fresh bread or pastry – these can cause driver irritability, a preponderance to speed and an increased chance of involvement in road rage because they can all make drivers feel hungry and in a hurry to satiate their appetites.
· The smell of fresh cut grass, pine woods or roadside flowers – while relaxing some drivers, this can put others into a nostalgic frame of mind where they daydream of swooping down country lanes and fail to appreciate the speed at which they are travelling. For hay fever sufferers there may be the added problem of streaming eyes and sneezing.
· A combination of leather seats and oil – this can make some older drivers remember the thrill and sense of freedom that came with their first cars. They could potentially then unconsciously adopt the risk taking behaviour of much younger drivers.
· Certain perfumes and aftershaves – these can have a strong sexual association which may make both male and female drivers more interested in carnal matters than motoring matters. Whole memories, complete with all associated emotions, can be prompted by smell.
Drivers tend to become de-sensitised to the smell of their own cars so become less aware of how it might affect their mood and also the mood of any other person that drives in it.
Smells beneficial to driving include:
· Peppermint and cinnamon – improves concentration levels as well as making drivers less irritable.
· Lemon and coffee – these smells are good for clear thinking and high concentration levels.
· New car smell (a combination of cleaning products and organic solvents etc) – tends to make people concentrate better and also take more care with their driving.
· Sea ozone – a blast of salty sea air can encourage deep breathing which relaxes the muscles, relieves stress and calms the mind.