“Your fragrance is your message, your scented slogan” – Maurice Roucel.
Perfumes are one of the most essential commodities in our day-to-day life. The sense of smell is the strongest of all the five senses, and the most tied to memory and emotion. The olfactory nerve is connected to the part of the brain that monitors memories and emotions, therefore, fragrances affects mood, concentration, memory recall and emotions. Over the past 20 years, the International Flavors and Fragrances Inc. (IFF) has been researching on the subjective and physiological effects of aromas and fragrances on emotions.
Scientists Richard Alex and Linda Buck, the winners of 2004 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, observed that there are more than thousand genes that react to the sense of smell and each of these genes has receptors that can perceive different varieties of smells. Our noses are linked to numerous parts of the brain. The limbic system of the brain is responsible for our moods and emotions and is associated with the olfactory receptors. Smells are also associated with the hippocampus, which is linked to environmental learning. Fragrance is processed through amygdale, which is known as the emotion processor of the brain. Not only does fragrance affect our mood, but also can boost work performance and can enhance behavior in different ways.
Here are some common fragrances that can help affect or improve our moods:
➢ Calming and relaxing effect- Chamomile, Jasmine, Lavender, Neroli, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Allspice, Berry, Rosewood, Frankincense.
➢ Refreshing, revitalizing and uplifting effect- Orange, Anise, Citrus, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Myrrh, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Pine, Rose, Rosewood, Spearmint, Tangerine, Spruce, Tea Tree, Thyme, Winter Green.
➢ Stress- Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Mandarin, Neroli, Patchouli, Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang.
➢ Memory and concentration- Basil, Black pepper, Cypress, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary.
➢ Libido- Lavender, Pumpkin, Vanilla, Musk.
➢ Grief- Cypress, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Neroli, Rose, Sandalwood, Vetiver.
➢ Fear- Bergamot, Cedarwood, Clary sage, Frankincense, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lemon, Neroli, Orange, Chamomile, Sandalwood, Vetiver.
➢ Depression- Bergamot, Clary sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange, Chamomile, Rose, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang.Here are some of the common scented oils and their effects on our emotions:
- Eucalyptus– It is widely used for respiratory congestions. It has a soothing effect and makes us feel comfortable during periods of mental and physical exhaustion.
- Lavender– Patients suffering from insomnia can use lavender because it helps combat insomnia. It calms and balances the mind and emotions. It also reduces irritability in both adults and children.
- Peppermint– It is useful for increasing energy and stamina. It enhances mental clarity as well. It helps with nausea and motion sickness. It can also be used in bringing relief to migraine sufferers.
- Lemon– It can be used for added energy to the mind and body and a sense of clarity.
- Rose Geranium– It is relaxing and soothing, can enhance sensuality and assist in confidence building.
- Rosemary– It improves concentration and memory and promotes cerebral activity.
- Sandalwood– It promotes deep relaxation, lessen depression, and calms the mind and emotions.
- Ylang-Ylang – This oil can calm the nervous system, ease depression, and reduce frustration.
By Saptarshee Misra- Saptarshee is a passionate writer, a budding lawyer and an intern with Mistpoffer®