2016 · August · Life

30 Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 1 – Smell and How the Nose Knows

Here we are, Day 1 of the 30 Day Gratitude Challenge. We are in for a great ride and I’m super excited to hear all about the things you are grateful for. So without further ado, let’s get right to it.

Today’s gratitude focus is SMELL.

“Ewww this smells terrible!! Here, smell this!” Oh the number of times we’ve had friends do this to us. Why would we smell something that they have already deemed terrible? But, we take it, stick it to our noses, and inhale nice and deep. Our reaction may be the same as our friends or it may be completely different which then sends our friend into fits of laughter because we like that terrible smell.

Then there are all the other things we smell: fresh baked bread, a rose, a newborn baby, trash, sewers and so much more which cause us to smile, frown, or crinkle up our noses, but why doesn’t everyone like the same smells all of the time? Other than our noses being different shapes and colors don’t we all smell the same things and have the same reactions?

The Sense of Smell and How the Nose Knows

Well… no. Here’s why

Our sense of smell is more than just the scents we breathe in through our noses. Smell is associated with memories. What? No way!

Research has shown our sense of smell can affect and influence us in many different ways because it  can trigger memories, affect our moods and even affect how we perform at work.

It’s a brain thing

Our olfactory glands are so close to the parts of our brains which are responsible for processing emotions (the amygdala)  and associative learning (the hippocampus) that when we smell something for the first time we associate that smell with an event, person, thing or moment (How Stuff Works – Health, 2016).

This explains why everyone reacts to smells in different ways. What you may find pleasing, your friend may find offensive. What your friend finds pleasing, may make you scrunch up your face in disdain. Then there’s always those smells that we can agree on.

Now we’re all in the know nose about our noses and smell!

The smell I’m grateful for today

Rain! It’s been really dry here over the last couple of weeks and when it finally came I was grateful.

I am grateful for the smell of rain
Photo Courtesy of Through My Eyes on anaturalbeauty1.tumblr.com

I love the smell of rain. Sometimes I can even smell it before it actually starts falling. Now, however, I know why the smell of rain is something I’m grateful for.  I’m grateful for its power to heal my plants and make everything green again, but there’s more to it than that for me.


I remember (see the smell of rain is attached to a memory…who’d have thunk it!)  playing outside, as a little girl, with my sister, while my granny (gosh I miss her) sat on the porch watching us. Every once in awhile she’d look up and say,

“Finish up girls, it’s going to rain.”

We, of course, would question her because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and she’d always tell us

“I can smell it coming”

It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized I could smell rain too. It’s like a superpower to me because it makes me just like my granny!

Rain smells so fresh and clean. There are few things I find better than catching the smell of incoming rain before I ever see a rain cloud in the sky. It’s a bit more difficult now that I live closer to the big city, but I can still catch the scent sometimes. Mmmmm, the smell of rain.

What SMELL are you grateful for today?

See you tomorrow when we talk about a technology we’re grateful for!

♥ Robyn





4 thoughts on “30 Day Gratitude Challenge: Day 1 – Smell and How the Nose Knows

  1. When I was young my mother would make these cinnamon roll ups with the leftover pie crust she had. Its a smell I dream about now cause it’s been a long to e since I’ve had them. A couple weeks ago you made gluten free chocolate chip cookies and the smell the produced was heavenly considering I love cookie dough more than cookies these days!


  2. Yes fresh rain is lovely – I love the smell of my husband’s cologne when we get dressed up to go out somewhere special and he wears his ‘expensive’ one 🙂


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