14 December 2012,

Jasmine Reduces Chocolate Cravings?


‘I hate chocolate,’ said no one, ever. Thanks to James S. Fell for that line, and clever insight into one of the more serious problems of my daily life. I love chocolate. It’s as though the my chocolate craving functions directly, positively, and significantly, with the beginning of every attempt I make to avoid it.


What to do?


Recently, researchers have proposed that including non-food related odors, like jasmine, can lead to a significant reduction in chocolate craving. This is important, as a reduction in craving means you will be significantly less motivated to seek it out, and eat it. Neat…?


Two important take away messages here:


-       If you are vulnerable to craving chocolate- food related smells will enhance your desire for eating more of it. So if you eat sweets or have a craving, get as far away from a bakery as possible.

-       To combat this desire, use non food, detergent scented products as they might change your track of thought. Was the ‘If you are vulnerable to craving chocolate message necessary? I may as well have written, ‘If you are human… it may have been a more focused approach.

Why Might Jasmine Reduce Chocolate Cravings


When considering the scent of jasmine or why jasmine specifically leads to a direct drop in food craving, I’m reminded by the fact that ‘clean’ smells may have appetite inhibitory powers for a variety of reasons. ‘Clean’ smells like lemon, pine, lavender, laundry detergent. It’s not a coincidence that all of these things taste awful. They are either very bitter or extremely sour. Interestingly, both bitter and sour tastes express the message to our brains very quickly that we are eating something poisonous.


Thus, by smelling something clean  we may actually be sending a warning signal that we are about to eat something poisonous, thus preventing any increased appetite for junk food. So keep some perfume around for when cravings strike, and try to avoid the doughnut aisle. All sometimes easier written, of course, than done.



Kemps, E. Tiggemann, M., Bettany, S., ‘ Non food odorants reduce chocolate cravings,’ Appetite 58(3), 2012: 1087-1090.

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