Research Topic

Smells, Well-being, and the Built Environment

About this Research Topic

From the pungent smells of Khari Baoli Spice Market in New Delhi to soothing smells of Mayfair Lavender Farm in south London, smells bring distinct identities to places and can connect people emotionally to the surroundings. Smells are powerful to influence our feeling and recall memories of the past. ...

From the pungent smells of Khari Baoli Spice Market in New Delhi to soothing smells of Mayfair Lavender Farm in south London, smells bring distinct identities to places and can connect people emotionally to the surroundings. Smells are powerful to influence our feeling and recall memories of the past. Experiences of smells enrich our understandings of places and behavioral responses in places. In light of aromatherapies, spaces with therapeutic smells can potentially bring positive impacts on human wellbeing. In service spaces, smells are important environmental cues to delight people. In artistic practice, smells are curated to create an immersive experience to connect the audience and artists’ inner worlds. Conversely smells in the form of odor pollution deriving from waste, traffic, plants, and food districts can compromise the quality of life of residents, and negatively affect our experience of places and lead to behavior changes. Smell, as a wellbeing-spatial medium, how much do we know about?

We aim to collect a body of work to understand the emotional and wellbeing responses resulted from smells in different public spaces (museums, highstreets, heritage buildings, food districts, gentrified neighborhoods, squares, etc.) to inform future spatial design and management. In particular, the collection wishes to contribute three parts of literature:
• Theoretical frameworks to understand relationships between smells, wellbeing and emotions, behaviors and physiological aspects;
• Methodological approaches to measure smell triggered emotions, experiences, and quality of life;
• Practical explorations on the process and challenges of using smells to trigger emotions and manipulate behaviors.

We welcome cross-disciplinary contributions from architecture, geography, urban design and planning, psychology, neuroscience, business management, art and cultural studies, environmental planning, environmental justice, gentrification studies, citizen science. The collection is open to a broad range of article types, including Original Research, Review, Hypothesis and Theory, Perspective, Brief Research Report, and Case Study. Please note that Authors may include audios and videos as supplementary materials.

Credits for the image: The Smell of a Stranger, an olfactory art installation by Peter de Cupere, exhibition Havana Biennial (CU), 2015


Keywords: wellbeing, emotions, smell perception, smell scape, environmental odors, sensory urbanism, spatial design and management, environmental planning, citizen science


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 April 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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