Pleasant smells trigger “approach behavior”

In the words of the academics who study such things, pleasant smells trigger “approach behavior.” If a store smells good, we’ll walk in and linger. In one study, participants cleaned their lunch area more assiduously if they smelled citrus. Even Windex changes our behavior. People assigned to a room sprayed with the pungent cleaner expressed a greater willingness to volunteer and donate money to a cause than participants in a neutral-smelling room. The hypothesis is that the smell of “cleanliness” makes us aspirational. Who knew: Windex is the smell of virtue.

The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams

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