View RSS Feed

Possum-Pie's making sense of scents

Optical Illusions, perceived scents, and the tricky mind

Rate this Entry
We all have seen an optical illusion. "Which line is longer?" (They're all the same size) Our brains often trick us into believing something that isn't real. People accept that this is true if you point it out, but often refuse to believe they have been tricked unless it is irrefutably shown to them.
I had to physically cover all surrounding squares before I could believe that "A" and "B" are the same exact shade of grey.

Name:  Figure-ground_Organization_2.jpeg
Views: 1231
Size:  74.0 KB

The brain is easily fooled. VERY easily fooled. Suggest to someone that there is a difference in smell between two samples, and they often will agree, and even expound on the nuances of the differences. Couple that with the reality of Reformulations, and you have a paranoid hysteria on par with the Salem Witch hunts. Of course, I'm eluding to Aventus.
Several years ago, a fellow Basenoter gave two people two vials of Aventus. He implied that they were two batch variations. Both people went into great detail about the differences in batches. Thing was, one person DID get samples from two bottles, but the other got two samples from the exact same bottle. I was inspired and also sent 3 "batches" of samples out to several people. Almost all described which was smokier, which had more ash smell, which was the best pineapple note batch. I had drawn ALL of the samples from the same bottle.

These folks can be forgiven, the power of suggestion is underestimated. A million years ago, the people who heard a noise and dismissed it as wind were eaten by the Saber-Toothed tiger, while the people who believed every noise to be danger lived to reproduce and pass their genes along. We are hardwired to be paranoid, to perceive patterns, and to believe what others believe if they present a strong enough case.
folie plusieurs ("madness of many") occurs when people reinforce each other's delusions. Many believe the Salem Witch hunt in the 1600 and the California Daycare center sexual abuse panic of the 1980s are this shared hysteria.
By the 1980s more women were working outside the home. More kids were being left in daycare. An allegation of sexual abuse sparked a wildfire of other reports, spanning many centers, and often involving wild allegations of Devil worship, Satanic cults, and bizarre acts. The first case came from a women later shown to be Paranoid Schizophrenic who accused McMartin Daycare of group sex with kids, animal torture, and satanic rituals. Interviews of kids were done by asking them if any of these things happened. Kids often will agree with whatever is asked, and they readily agreed that they had. This sparked public outrage, which caused parents in other schools to ask their kids if they were subjected to bizarre acts. Hundreds were accused, many were taken to court and some were even convicted on no evidence but a toddler's statement. When the dust cleared almost 10 years later, the allegations were deemed unfounded. The madness of hysteria had caused people to believe things that were not true. This is NOT to say sexual abuse doesn't happen, quite the contrary, far to often it goes unreported. But the mass hysteria of the 80s has a parallel to the Salem Witch hunt hundreds of years earlier, many innocent people had their lives ruined.
People who feel a very strong liking for a particular fragrance often worry that their love will be reformulated. A few people set off the alarm that they believe the frag was changed. People smell and agree. Word spreads, batch numbers get listed and worried owners frantically scan lists to see which batch they have. Perhaps some of the naturals were obtained from different sources, perhaps one may be a bit 'smokier' than another. But you can't convince a histrionic person that their Aventus batch is more similar than different than the next one. Like the above shadow illusion, it's too ingrained in their brain.

I don't fault them, Do a search for my posts in 2012 about Aventus, Even I, the born skeptic, got swept up for a short while. Yes, the mind is powerful...

Updated 23rd July 2017 at 12:17 PM by Possum-Pie




Total Trackbacks 0
Trackback URL:

Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000