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Baking bread: The nation’s favourite smell

18th May 2015 Print
Baking bread

Bread that has just been baked, sizzling bacon and freshly cut grass are among the nation’s favourite smells, a study has revealed.

Researchers polled 1,000 people and found the scent of homemade bread just after it comes out of the oven is the most popular smell, followed by bacon, grass just after it’s been cut, cakes baking in the oven and the seaside.

Coffee, a Sunday roast, real Christmas trees and fresh paint also appear on the list.

There were some more unusual items to feature among the best loved smells though, with many claiming to love the whiff of rain, new books, matches and even petrol.

It also emerged that bins, drains and off-putting body odour are the nation’s most hated pongs.

Stuart Hobbs from decorating brand, Harris, which commissioned the survey to celebrate being rated the number one preferred paint brush and roller brand for home decorators, said: “Smells are all around us and with some particularly strong ones floating around, it’s no surprise we have our favourites – as well as a few we can’t stand.

“And it seems it’s the homely smells that are most popular with bacon, bread and freshly cut grass at the top of the list – all things that can help make a house more warm and welcoming.

“But as well as the ones almost everyone would be happy to say they love, there are a few on the list, which may divide some.

“Scents like petrol, barbecues and bonfires or cheese can be loved by some, but despised by others.

“Everyone wants to be surrounded by nice smells, particularly in their own home, and we go to all sorts of lengths to make sure this is the case.”

Fish and chips and freshly washed clothes also feature high on the list while fresh flowers complete the top ten.

The aroma given off by a real Christmas tree saw it voted into eleventh place, with roses, vanilla, scented candles and log fires following close behind.

Lavender, lemon, chocolates, barbecues and cinnamon completed the top 20.

Food and drink smells feature heavily with orange, coconut, Christmas cake, lime and doughnuts proving popular with Brits. Cherry, marzipan, popcorn and wine also made the top 50 as well as cheese and biscuits.

Homely smells are extremely well-loved with the scent of a freshly cleaned house, fresh paint, new carpets and the fragrance of a newly-built house all among the best-loved.

But at the other end of the scale, bins were named the most disliked pong, along with drains, body odour, sewage and vomit.

Rotten milk, rotting food, public toilets, nappies and old trainers completed the top ten.

The worst smells also feature garlic breath, sports changing rooms and fish.

Researchers found that six in ten believe there are certain smells that remind them of particular people or places, while another seven in ten associate a smell with a memory.

More than three quarters even have smells which make them feel nostalgic.

Eighty-four per cent also said they always like to make sure their home smells nice and fresh, with room sprays, by opening windows and making sure it’s cleaned regularly the most popular ways to keep a house smelling nice.

Stuart added: “In addition to being rated the UK’s number one paintbrush and roller brand, we have also been voted the best quality and most reliable paintbrush brand in the UK. To commemorate this, we have been working with top Fragrance house, Scent Perfique, to create our own unique scent of home for our retailers to spritz when shoppers are making important home decisions about decorating. We thought finding out the nation’s favourite smells will ensure we get the smell right. So many of the top smells are associated with home which really confirms to us that home is where the heart is.”

Top 20 best smells

1. Freshly baked bread

2. Bacon

3. Freshly cut grass

4. Coffee

5. Cakes baking in the oven

6. The seaside

7. Freshly washed clothes

8. A Sunday roast

9. Fish and chips

10. Fresh flowers

11. A real Christmas tree

12. Roses

13. Vanilla

14. Scented candles

15. Log fires

16. Lavender

17. Lemon

18. Chocolate

19. Barbeques

20. Cinnamon

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Baking bread