Scientists are on a Mission to Recreate the Smell of 16th Century Europe

Walking down the streets of most cities in the 21st century, we can come across smells of coffee, cigarette smoke, and bakeries. However, we can only imagine and assume what other periods in time smelled like. An international team of historians and scientists has decided to tackle this question head-on and conduct in-depth research into the smell of 16th to 20th century Europe!

Smell How Scientists Plan to Research the Smell of History

When thinking about how the streets of a 16th-century street might have smelled, we are drawn to think about street canal odors, the earthy scent of herbalist shops, and tobacco. In order to get a more detailed insight into the smellscape of Europe during that time period, researchers will rely on a specially-programmed AI that will sift through period-relevant texts and images to find mentions of different scents or objects that might have been aromatic. The researchers will then work with chemists and perfumers to find ways to recreate these scents and potentially display them in museums.

Victorian British Painting by Louise Rayner The Goal Behind Recreating Historical Smells

The leader of the project is Inger Leemans, a professor at The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She explains that the database named the “Encyclopedia of Smell Heritage” will explain the historical significance behind each scent and is meant to contain the olfactory heritage of Europe. The research done here could help future generations understand the importance of smell to physicians throughout history, that smelling salts that were taken out if someone fainted, how rosemary was commonly used by people to protect against the plague, and much more.

Smelling Salts A More Intimate Connection to History

Fragrances have the power to spark forgotten memories and take us back to different moments in time. Throughout history, the perception of which smells were deemed pleasant and unpleasant was rooted in culture and changed with the times. With scents available next to different depictions or artifacts of these centuries, it’s possible to get more in-depth access to the past.

Frugal Living Done Right: How to Squeeze More Out of Everything

The goal of frugal living is to keep things optimized. It saves you money, and it helps you make the most of things. Here are five ways to coax out a little extra in your life!

1. More Space in Your Luggage

Using an air compression bag to shrink clothes
Frugal Living Done Right: How to Squeeze More Out of Everything

You know how packing can take forever when you try to fill your suitcase or backpack with more things than it can fit? What if we told you there is a way to fit a little extra in there — how? Easy! Just get a set of nylon or polyethylene bags that have one-way air valves to help suck the excess air out. Vacuuming your clothes will shrink them in size without damaging the fabrics. Easy-peasy!

2. More Room in Your Closet: Go Full-On Frugal

A well-arranged closet with two rows of rods
Frugal Living Done Right: How to Squeeze More Out of Everything

It’s all about space usage. What you need to do is employ a technique known as double hanging. Typically the rod inside your closet is installed around 60 inches from the floor. Remove it and reinstall it at 84 inches. Then take a second rod and attach it at 42 inches below the first one. That way, you can hang your pants and skirts on the top, and your shirts and blouses below. If you need more room, just get skinny hangers to increase the capacity of your closet. Who said living a frugal life was hard?

3. More Energy Out of a Nap

A young man relaxing on a sofa
Frugal Living Done Right: How to Squeeze More Out of Everything

Stanley Coren, PhD, has long studied sleep patterns in dogs and humans. He says there is a lot we can learn from canines. The trick is to try and lie flat when you’re taking a nap. If you’re propped up, this will prevent you from entering the deepest, most restorative stages of your sleep as your subconscious mind will be preoccupied with preventing you from falling over.

4. More Range Out of Your Wi-Fi

A Wi-Fi router
Frugal Living Done Right: How to Squeeze More Out of Everything

Much like people, Wi-Fi tends to be unable to pass through walls and ceilings. So, if your router is in the basement, hidden in a closet somewhere, or on a floor you don’t use as much, change that. Your router needs to be at the center of your house to ensure minimum obstacles to the signal. Also, make sure to change the channel. Most routers are set at No.6 (out of 11) by default, which means most of your neighbors are on the same frequency.

5. More Repetitions Out of a Workout Set

Woman working out at home
Frugal Living Done Right: How to Squeeze More Out of Everything

When it comes to a repetitive action that we count, it’s all about psychology. Fitness trainer Joe Vennare suggests we should count down instead of up when we’re doing our workout. When we’re counting up, it reminds us of all the reps we’ve just done, which can be tiring, while doing it the other way (down) puts the emphasis on how much we have left, which is more motivating.