Flavor and Aroma – Why Good Smelling Things Just Taste Better

At Blossom Water, we understand the importance of smell and taste. These senses warn us of dangers, like fire or a gas leak, and they enhance our enjoyment of life by stimulating the desire to eat and drink – thus nourishing both body and spirit.

Here is how it works:
Smell and taste belong to our chemical sensing system (chemosensation). The complicated process of smelling and tasting begins when molecules released by the substances around us stimulate special nerve cells in the nose, mouth, or throat. These cells transmit messages to the brain, where specific smells or tastes are identified.

Olfactory (smell nerve) cells are stimulated by the odors around us—the fragrance from a rose, the smell of bread baking. These nerve cells are found in a tiny patch of tissue high up in the nose, and they connect directly to the brain.

Gustatory (taste nerve) cells are clustered in the taste buds of the mouth and throat. They react to food or drink mixed with saliva. Many of the small bumps that can be seen on the tongue contain taste buds. These surface cells send taste information to nearby nerve fibers, which send messages to the brain. (From The American Academy of Otolaryngology – http://www.entnet.org/)

Our sense of smell is directly linked to our emotions. The olfactory bulb is part of the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain. This part of the brain is responsible for emotions, memories and mood. “Pleasant fragrances have been found to have positive effects on mood in all age groups.” (The Social Issues Research Centre – http://www.sirc.org/publik/smell_emotion.html)

Taste has a similar connection. There have been countless articles about the correlation between food and mood and we all remember Proust’s experience with the cookie. The taste of a madeleine caused the French author an involuntary memory of childhood. The experience was so intense it inspired his famous novel, À la Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past).

Flavor, as it turns out, is the combination of smell and taste. Whammy! “It is believed that as much as 80 percent or more of what we perceive as taste is actually aroma. This is why when we have a cold the food we eat “tastes” bland. Taste buds allow us to perceive only bitter, salty, sweet, and sour flavors. It’s the odor molecules from food that give us most of our taste sensation. The average person can discriminate between 4,000 to 10,000 different odor molecules.” (molecularrecipes.com)

The odor molecules in the flower essences we use to enhance Blossom Water are the key to exceptional taste. It’s all about aroma…The nose knows! Smelling is believing. Just open up a bottle of Blossom Water and you’ll understand what we mean.