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  1. #1

    Default Air pressure affects taste (and smell)

    A study sponsored by Luftansa Airlines shows tastes (and smells) are perceived differently at different air pressures. I would unscientifically presume that similar envinronmental changes also affect taste and smell, including temperature & himidity.

    From my own experience with Opium (which I am wearing today): when applied in the morning I often sense the blackcurrant and spices more than when I apply it in the evening. I still do not know what causes this phenomenon, but like altitude can affect the senses, I would think hormone levels (especially cortisol) that change throughout the day would have an effect, and this is also affected by stress and other normal daily bio-chemical changes.

    The original article, in German:,00.html

  2. #2

    Default Re: Air pressure affects taste (and smell)

    No wonder airline meals are so awful lol . I am always careful only to wear a light deodorant when flying, the last thing you want is to stink out the aircraft.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Air pressure affects taste (and smell)

    I spend about 90 hours per month on airplanes and I've found that the drydown is about all you'll get from any fragrance. The pressure has less to do with the changes in smell and taste than the dryness of the cabin.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Air pressure affects taste (and smell)

    I have very recently been contemplating deeply on what factor, internal or environmental, was making a noticable difference in my opinions of scents changing somewhat often and not cyclically. At 1st I assumed it was perhaps seasonal, but some of these scents I have had several years, so the cycles had passed with no concrete association in step with seasons. I then assumed it was dietary or behavioral, but didn't care to keeo track of all these subtle variations, so I just let it be, and resisted the urge to sell off scents, which i knew I really liked for a sustained time throughout thorough testing in the past. My nose evolved fairly quickly after being exposed to all the raw materials and so many scents years ago, so I knew with certainty it was not my nose, or much less, my taste, evolving further.

    Thank you VonMises for posting this, as i now know that this is the factor I never imagined which could have such a great effect. Perhaps it will get me in the habit of checking the Barometer readout which until this point I had ignored everyday for years when checking the temp outside. perhaps it will even further my understanding of the atmosphere on an armchair level, when this tangent raises more curiosity in other things atmospheric. Thanks again VonMises.
    Last edited by DULLAH; 11th March 2010 at 05:33 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Air pressure affects taste (and smell)

    One thing I realized is that in the morning. right after you wake up, food in general tastes alot better.
    I tried this once because I ate some dinner which I thought was average, for breakfast the next day, it tasted amazing!
    I think smell might carry the same baggage

    let me know if you guys feel the same way
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Air pressure affects taste (and smell)

    Quote Originally Posted by vonMises View Post
    I would unscientifically presume that similar envinronmental changes also affect taste and smell, including temperature & humidity.
    Well, yes, this is certainly a safer assumption than the humility you show. I have always known that humidity and temperature affect this, just from my own nerves, although i would be very interested to read some official research for the finite physical details of these minute interactions. Yet everytime I have noticed humidity or temperature had an effect, I never even thaught of air pressure.

    I'm very interested to learn about the differences air pressure can have on some of the ingredients we use that enhance sillage or penetration, and of course perhaps an actuarial map of tendencies/averages in air pressure rates across several continents.

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