If you find yourself too focused on the time throughout the day, perhaps a more free-form style of time telling can help you relax. The Scent Rhythm watch was made by hardware designer Aisen Caro Chacin as a way of harnessing and reinforcing our natural circadian rhythms. The watch has no face and no numbers; rather, it gives an approximation of time.
Every six hours, one of four fragrances is released. Each is designed to both indicate the approximate time of day and stimulate certain chemicals in the brain. In the morning, the scent of espresso wakes you up and gets you ready to face the day. During the working hours, the work or school-related aromas of books and tarnished silver help you focus. The evening hours, when you are unwinding from the day, are marked with the calming (depending on who you are) scents of whiskey and tobacco.
At bedtime, the calming smell of chamomile sends you off to sleep and helps your brain rest up for the following day. Although the watch won’t help you keep any appointments, it does help your body adapt to your personal schedule.
By releasing these aromas – and stimulating the corresponding brain chemicals – at pre-determined times throughout the day, your body becomes used to your personal schedule. Your internal clock remembers the rhythm of the scents and synchronizes your brain and your body to your daily routine, making it easier to transition between the stages of your day.
“Scent Rhythm is timekeeping device that maps relational olfactory sequences to the body’s circadian cycle. The sense of smell is a chemoreceptor, which means that these sensors can detect chemicals. The sense of time, chronoception, is not based on the function of a specific organ, but rather the result of the interaction of the cerebral cortex, cerebellum and basal ganglia. This device attempts to keep a chemical watch on the circadian rhythm, by administering fragrance+supplement concoctions associated with the daily activity of the moment to promote the production of certain neurotransmitters, such as chamomile+melatonin during sleep, espresso+caffeine during the awaken state.”