Does the aroma of asparagus turn your chamber pot into perfume?
That’s not nearly as odd of a question as you may think. Researchers have been conducting multiple experiments since the 1890’s to try to get to the bottom of the proverbial toilet – post-asparagus consumption – and try to figure out exactly where that particular aroma comes from and why.
What we found most interesting is both theories, the excretors/non-excretors as well as the smellers/non-smellers, held up. In the case of the smellers/non-smellers, the genetic mutation is something called anosmia, basically the inability to perceive certain olfactory compounds.
The experience of aromas is vastly subjective and largely based on previously created associations that we, as scent and experience designers, have absolutely no control over. But beyond that, there are genetic mutations in roughly 2 million Americans (who knows about the rest of the world; not a widely reported anomaly) that disrupt the simple awareness of particular aromas as well.
This adds a layer of imperceptibility to our job and the job of experience creators. The solution, is seems, is to beat the odds of genetics. The larger the sampling group, the more smellers you’ll find.