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Editorial: Smells, Well-Being, and the Built Environment

Xiao, Jieling; Aletta, Francesco; Radicchi, Antonella

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 (Porteous, 1985). Smells are powerful to influence our feelings and recall memories of the past. Experiences of smells enrich our understanding of places and behavioral responses in places (Classen et al., 1994; Henshaw, 2014; Xiao, 2018) (Figure 1). 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 (Henshaw et al., 2018). In this Research Topic, we aimed to collect a range of contributions to understand the emotional and wellbeing responses resulting from smells in different public spaces (museums, highstreets, heritage buildings, food districts, neighborhoods, squares, etc.) to inform future spatial design and management. The articles in this Research Topic are presented according to three types of contributions: reviews and conceptual analyses, empirical research in fieldwork, in laboratory studies and technological applications.
Published in: Frontiers in Psychology, 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.880701, Frontiers