Ladies For Your Next Date, Dabb Some Cinnamon On….
Every December, you vow it’s not going to happen and yet, without fail, you return home from your Christmas shopping with far more than you intended. Do you ever wonder why? The answer might surprise you, because you’ve probably been seduced by something you can neither see nor hear.
In my attempt to understand, I went over the details of the days leading up to my own personal Christmas frenzy, and I tracked the origins of it back to a brief window of time as I changed flights in the Zurich airport. I noticed the duty free shops were already full of the colors of Christmas. To be more precise, carefully camouflaged tubes strategically placed amongst the tinsel and glitz were piping in the sumptuous smells of Christmas: a perfect mix of cinnamon and pine.
I mean, can a tube dispensing cinnamon and pine really compel me to embrace the Christmas spirit way ahead of time? Surprisingly, yes. Dr. Gemma Calvert, who is an expertin modern brain imaging based in Oxford, England, discovered the remarkable ability smells have. She exposed a group of volunteers to cinnamon and then viewed their reactions, using an fMRI scanner. As they breathed in the sweet spicy scent, their brains fired up — including the region responsible for authentic emotional engagement. It seems cinnamon is one of the main ingredients associated, over time, with baking and cider-making rituals and can kick-start an emotional journey
So while it might seem as though retailers are concentrating on everything that delights your eyes and ears, they also might be surreptitiously enticing you to buy more through your nose. And they might not even be doing it in a sneaky manner. This season, Trader Joe’s, Publix, and other supermarkets are prominently displaying heavily-scented “cinnamon brooms” by the check out — large, smelly bunches of twigs to hang inside your home and anoint with cinnamon oil when their pungency starts to fade. At Bed, Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, and other big-box stores, cinnamon-scented pine cones for sale greet you as you walk in the door. Take these items home and you might even get the urge to rush out shopping again.