There is something powerful in the way a smell can trigger our memory. Fragrance has the ability to connect us to people and places in the past. A spray of Eau de Parfum used by a relation or partner can reaffirm our bond with people. Similarly a walk in the woods can bring us back to our childhood, climbing trees. and rummaging through the woods. An olfactory journey can bridge those gaps in a way that looking at a photograph fails to do.
The Effect on the Brain
It could be argued that smell is the most intimate of our five senses. When we inhale, odour molecules travels through our nose towards the mucous membrane, which is located at the top of the airway on either side of the nasal septum. The odour molecule moves back and forth above the mucous membrane until it finds a receptor that matches it in size and shape. When it does a message is sent by the olfactory nerve to the brain. This olfactory message then passes into the limbic system where cognitive recognition takes place and either a positive or negative association occurs. When we view our olfactory journey in this way it completely changes the way in which we smell the world.
The sense of smell is the only sensory perception that is not filtered by our consciousness. Our brain analyzes this information without realising it. Smell thus provokes physiological reactions that trigger a behavioral response and an appropriate action on our organism: relaxing, stimulating, soothing…
Aromachology: The Power of Fragrance on our spirit.
A term first used in 1982. Numerous scientific studies conducted since the 1980s, prove that the scents released by perfumes directly influence the behavior and mood of human beings. Even though not everyone reacts in the same way to this stimulation, aromachology proves that certain smells trigger predictable reactions in people.
What Fragrances can boost our mood?
Some scents are more likely to have an effect on our mood compared to others. Stimulate, soothe or reassure, Fragrance has the power to act on your brain to send a message to your body. So which fragrances to choose and why? Some examples below.
Lavender, to relieve anxiety and soothe the spirit.
Citrus Fruits to stimulate energy.
Neroli, a stress barrier to control emotions and memories
Ylang-Ylang, relaxing and anti-depressant.
The effect of Fragrance in our daily lives
In Japan, companies use fragrances to boost productivity. In open spaces, odour diffusers dispense lemon and other citrus fruits during the morning to encourage energy, vitality and creativity, whereas in the afternoon, jasmine and cinnamon will act on the concentration of the workers.
There is an increasing trend to use sensorial marketing, especially olfactory marketing: when fragrances influences your mood is to have an impact on you purchasing decisions. Think of visiting a Christmas market and experiencing the aromas of cinnamon and citrus to draw you close to market stalls.
Fragrance therefore has a real effect on our behavior and our mood in a positive sense thanks to pleasant odours.