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Why are some people attracted to the smell of gasoline?🤔


   Are you someone who enjoys the smell of gasoline while filling up your car's fuel tank? Although most people find the smell of fuel irritating and pungent, others find inhaling a strange smell and a tickle to the brain! What is the secret of the attraction of some to the smell of gasoline?

1-The magic ingredient in gasoline!

 To understand the psychological reason why some people love and smell gasoline, we need to delve deeper into the source of the smell.

 Benzene is a chemical mixture consisting of many ingredients, including de-icers,lubricants, anti-rust agents and hundreds of chemical compounds known as hydrocarbons. These include butane, pentane, isopentane, and a chemical compound called BTEX: benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, and xylene.

 Of all these chemical compounds, it is the benzene compound that is responsible for the smell of gases evolved. The chemical Benzene is added to fuel to increase octane levels, which improves engine performance and fuel efficiency. 

 This substance contains a sweet natural scent that the noses are particularly sensitive to, as it has a very pungent smell that the human nose can detect if it contains one part for every million parts in the air that we breathe. It is also a highly volatile substance, which causes it to spread very quickly in open spaces.

 In fact, it's no surprise that you love the smell of gasoline. Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,benzene was added to shaving products to give them a sweet scent. It was also used as a solvent to break down the caffeine in coffee. But these uses are short-lived, and for good reason: benzene is a known carcinogen when inhaled in large quantities or exposed for a long time.

 Well, all of these explanations still haven't explained why people like to inhale the smell of dangerous chemicals like gasoline. While science has not provided a clear explanation for this, there are two basic theories that explain this.

2- The smell of gasoline enhances the good memories!

 The first theory is that exploring the nose for a familiar scent leads to vigorous memories. The phenomenon is called the Proust phenomenon, and it is a nod to the French author Marcel Proust, who eloquently described a strong childhood memory evoked by the aroma of biscuits dipped in tea.

 But the link is more than just a literary description. Smell is the only sensation not passed through the thalamus before reaching the forebrain. The thalamus acts as a switch or trigger of sorts, connecting the sensory input from our eyes, our ears, our tongue, and our sense of touch to the correct parts of the brain so that we can record and understand it.

 But the scent bypasses this trigger, hitting the beeline quickly. Moreover, the bundle of nerves that detect smell, the olfactory bulb, has a high density of connections near the amygdala and the hippocampus in the brain, which are involved in emotional response and memory formation, respectively.

  This is why smells make our brains relive powerful, emotional memories at a subconscious level. As for gasoline, we might have strong memories related to the smell of gasoline. Maybe your brain linked your scent to summer camps, 

 going out on a road trip with the family, riding a bike when you were a kid, or spending time with your dad fixing the car. And when the scent hits the brain, it can trigger a feeling of nostalgia associated with a significant memory.

3-Benzene has an effect on stimulating the mesolimbic pathway

 Another theory centers on the physical effect of benzene on nerve receptors that detect smell. Benzene and other hydrocarbons, when inhaled, have a suppressive effect on the nervous system, leading to a temporary feeling of euphoria, in a way similar to the effect some drugs have on the body.

 The biological process of numbing nerves activates the mesolimbic pathway, also known as the brain reward pathway.When your olfactory nerves get that hit of gasoline, the mesolimbic system gives you a boost of dopamine,leaving you feeling satisfied and happy.

 These two theories apply not only to the pungent smell of fuel, but also to strange smells that attract people, such as the smell of whiteboard pens, or new tennis balls, the smell of books and other scents. 

 These scents directly release a boost of dopamine in the brain, leaving you feeling satisfied.Although both theories are convincing, scientists are still learning new things in the study of smell addiction, and previous studies are not considered conclusive. Without a doubt, scientists will one day discover the true reason behind this mystery!