There are a lot of people who like the smell of gasoline and this is a fact, but not many of them are able to admit it, because they are afraid to seem strange. But why do some of us like the smell of gasoline and others don’t? Researchers from the University of Liverpool decided to understand this difficult question.
So, according to researchers, there are only two reasons why some people like the smell of gasoline, one of which is psychological and the other is physiological.
The psychological reason lies in the phenomenon of Marcel Proust, named after the French writer who discovered it. This phenomenon explains why we like the smell of vanilla, lemon or pine, and the whole point is that our olfactory system is too close to the parts of our brain responsible for memory and emotions. This is why smells often evoke emotions in us based on memories. As for the smell of gasoline, it can evoke pleasant memories associated with cars. For example, pleasant memories of the first time you got behind the wheel of a car or how you bought your first car.
The essence of the physiological reason is the effect of benzene vapor on our mesolimbic system, which causes us a slight feeling of euphoria.
It is noteworthy that the benzene content in gasoline does not exceed 1%, but even more remarkable is the fact that benzene is found in paints, solvents, adhesives, and even in women’s nail polish, the smells of which are liked by those who like the smell of gasoline.
In conclusion, it is worth noting that benzene is a contaminant, that is, a toxin with high biological activity, due to which exposure to it for a long time is dangerous to health. In particular, benzene vapor can cause headaches, short-term memory impairment, worsening of the reaction, and even a decrease in the amount of white matter in the brain in its frontal and temporal lobes.