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See Inside November/December 2011

Sniffing Out a Good Time

Ambient smells could make or break a party



Simon Tonge/Getty Images

Spotting a good dance party seems pretty easy: throbbing music, swaying bodies, flashing lights. But a new study, published in Chemosensory Perception, shows that partygoers should use their nose to find the best bash. Scientists found that ambient smells such as peppermint and orange increased clubbers’ ratings of the dancing, the club, the music and the overall experience. The researchers say that smell is an important but previously underrated part of the multisensory party experience and that club owners—or hosts at home—could further impress their guests by adding scents to the surroundings.

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