Anthropologist David Howes explores cultural synesthesia:
In China, the color white is often identified with a harsh, foul odor. In the West, white is usually identified with soft, sweet smells. Such cultural associations can change over time. Mint was perceived as heating and drying in Western cultures prior to the modern era; now it’s more likely to be perceived as cooling and refreshing. And some associations may be universal. To take a well-documented example, most people would say that the word “maluma” sounds like a curvy shape, while “takete” sounds like a sharp-edged one.