You have been counting the days until spring since October? Are you already thinking about your next holiday in unknown landscapes? Then you may be succumbing to the winter blues that affects even the bravest of us. In short, you are down in the dumps. But fortunately for you, smells act on our brain to give us positive feelings and emotions. But how do scents influence our moods? Are a few perfumed drops enough to say goodbye to the melancholy? Discover the power of perfume and how scents are related to behavior.
The sense of smell, or the power of the subconscious
Perfume is a remedy for bad moods
We did not say it, Hippocrate did, when he understood the power of perfume on our well-being. And this is not a novelty: already in Antiquity, aromatic plants were used for their curative effects and their benefits on the mind. Myrrh was used by the Egyptians to fight anxiety, while saffron soothed tension and stimulated sleep for the Greeks.
But how can the sense of smell, more than any other, sneak in our brain to play with our emotions? The explanation is simply physiological. Smells and fragrances directly influence our psycho-emotional balance. Unlike other senses such as sight or touch, olfactory information takes place in our unconscious mind. This message penetrates our limbic system, otherwise known as the emotional brain, which is the part that most influences our psyche and plays a key role in our behavior.
The sense of smell is the only sensory perception that is not filtered by our consciousness. Our brain therefore analyzes this information without even realizing 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 perfume on our spirit
An intuitive science
Not to be confused with aromatherapy (the art of healing with essential oils), aromachology takes an interest in the links between smell and behavior. Anette Green, president of the Fragrance Foundation, first used this term in 1982. This discipline, which comes from the words “aroma” and “psychophysiology”, refers to the search for well-being through perfume. Aromachology globally integrates the actions of scents on the body, mind and environment of an individual. Numerous scientific studies, conducted since the 1980s, prove that the scents released by perfumes directly influence the behavior and mood of all human beings.
A perfume is made up of a multitude of scented components that constitute an olfactory message, interpreted by our brain. Even though not everyone reacts in the same way to this stimulation, aromachology proves nowadays that certain smells trigger predictable reactions in people. Perfuming ourselves would therefore allow us to feel more in harmony by acting on our vital functions and intellectual faculties. It is even sometimes used as a preventive medicine to fight against the famous seasonal depression by regulating our physical and emotional balance.
The power of smells in our daily lives
This science is particularly developed in Japan, where companies use it to stimulate productivity. In the middle of the open spaces, some odors diffusers take place to boost the efficiency of employees. During the morning, lemon and other citrus fruits encourage energy, vitality and creativity. In the afternoon, jasmine and cinnamon will act on the concentration of the teams.
Even within hospitals, the science of smells is used. It allows patients suffering from amnesia to reconnect with their unconscious by inhaling certain scents. The power of perfume still raises many questions today and researchers continue to study aromachology. It is also this science that has paved the way to sensorial marketing, especially olfactory marketing: when smell influences your mood to have an impact on your purchasing decision.
What smells to boost your mood?
Among the whole olfactory palette that our nose can recognize, some scents are more likely to have an effect on our mood than others. Whether in the world of perfumery or cosmetics, the beauty market uses the knowledge of the influence of smells to offer you appropriate products. Odoriferous components are therefore decisive, whether they act simply by rubbing on the skin or by releasing a perfume. Stimulate, soothe or reassure, smells have the power to act on your brain to send a message to your body! So which smells to choose, and why?
Citrus fruits to stimulate energy
The fresh and tangy smell of citrus fruits has a reputation for being stimulant and energizing. Sweet orange or lemon are recommended when you feel down or when you are in conflict. The scent of citrus acts on our liver, the seat of our nervous system where anger and irritability are concentrated. Very often used in cleaning products, their scent is associated in our brain with the smell of cleanliness and renewal. A real perfume of dynamism! So, if the winter blues is coming up, spray a few drops of enkor, our super-vitamin fragrance, to look on the bright side!
There is nothing like smelling lavender to relieve anxiety and soothe the spirits. This perfume, that carries us to violet fields in Provence, calms the nervous system. It also acts on the tensions of our body and stimulates restful sleep. Blended with the powerful aromas of coffee in the eau de parfum alfred kafé, lavender reveals itself in an olfactory cocktail that will titillate your senses. If you want to know more about this aromatic plant with a thousand virtues, you will find here an article dedicated to its purple petals.
Neroli, a stress barrier
In our hectic lives, stress often overwhelms us, and anxiety makes us lose our composure. In these cases, neroli, which comes from the bitter orange blossom, is recommended. Its fragrance acts on the part of our brain that controls our emotions and memories. By ordering the secretion of calming and soothing substances, the heartbeat and blood pressure are regulated.
Gain serenity with ylang-ylang
The powdery and fruity notes of ylang-ylang flower are reputed to be relaxing and even anti-depressant. Since the dawn of time, Filipinos have been macerating these flowers in coconut oil to give boori-boori. They coat themselves with this substance for its therapeutic and calming virtues. Its floral fragrance, widely used in cosmetics, brings relaxation and serenity. Some even pretend that this flower has aphrodisiac powers…
And of course, we can also count on the gourmand perfumes with their sweet scents. In moments of doubt or fear, they can appear as a real protective olfactory cocoon. As in our diet, sugar reassures us and takes us back to the simple pleasures of childhood.
Smells therefore have a real effect on our behavior and our mood, in a positive sense thanks to pleasant odors. Did you know the science of aromachology? What are the smells that cheer you up when winter sets in?