A new research has revealed that our sense of smell has more of an impact on our lives and behaviours than we may consciously realise.
Not only do household odors affect how we feel about our homes, they also play a role in informing a range of decisions around the house including what we choose to cook and how we entertain.
In order to get to the heart of the matter, air freshner company Febreze asked men and women across the GCC region to rate the worst household odors and those that are the toughest to remove, as well as divulge their attitudes based around what makes a bad smelling home.
The survey revealed that GCC population ranked lingering kitchen smells such as Kushna – a combination of fried onions, garlic, ginger and spices used as a base in popular Saudi dishes – as the number one most common household odor and the toughest lingering smell to get rid of.
In addition, the survey highlighted the staggering amount of time women spend on maintaining cleanliness and freshness within the home, on average women spend over 38 hours per week on cleaning the house, this means a woman spends over 5 hours on a daily basis making sure her house is ready for guests to visit.
Understandably, more than three-fourths look for quick fixes to make their homes smell good (76 per cent), this is especially true of women residing in Saudi Arabia (82 per cent).
Nearly 77 per cent of women claimed that a great smelling home is a guest ready home, with two-thirds claiming that they enjoy receiving compliments for a home that looks and smells great. In saying this, it comes as no surprise that that the daily battle against this lingering odors and a room that smells less than fresh are an unpleasant experience for both guest and host.
Adding onto this, staggering 82 per cent of men in the GCC feel a good smelling home is a well taken care of home; with three-fourths of them claiming that a good smelling home is a guest ready home and are proud to invite their friends over if their home smells good.
GCC women shared the same sentiments with 71 per cent claiming that a bad smelling home gives a poor reflection of the host and close to half (47 per cent) avoid visiting friends’ houses if the house smells bad.
An interesting insight into ‘air care’ in the region was unveiled, as to whether people believe that air fresheners are a better source of odor elimination in their homes as opposed to traditional methods such as bukhoor, which are scented chips similar to incense burner to perfume the home and clothing with a rich thick smoke.
The misconception that air fresheners are only used to mask odors as opposed to eliminating was evident in the results.
Interestingly, 64 per cent of women feel that generic air fresheners don’t remove odors, only mask them, whilst 52 per cent claimed that bukhoor is the easiest way to remove bad smells at home and make their homes guest ready instantly, making it clear that traditional methods of air cleansing are still favored in this region.
Despite this, men and women alike are still in search of a better solution to tackle these nasty smells that linger from the kitchen, with 81 per cent of women and over three-fourths of men claiming to want an air freshener that not only masks but also removes lingering odors.
Occasions when guests come over
- Overall, close to two-thirds report that their guests come over for ‘special occasions’. Among other events, most reported are dinner parties (44 per cent), followed by festivals (38 per cent), parties (30 per cent), and birthday parties (27 per cent).
- Higher proportion of women have guests over for dinner parties (51 per cent vs. 39 per cent men).
- Slightly higher proportion of KSA residents host guests during festivals than UAE (42 per cent vs. 35 per cent).
- As one might expect, people with children are more likely to have guests over for birthday parties (35 per cent) than others.