Thursday, October 16, 2014


The use and enjoyment of fragrances have endured throughout the centuries, from the rituals of ancient cultures to today’s modern lifestyles. In fact, as we celebrate the second millennium milestone, fragrances continue to play a beneficial and purposeful role in adding to the quality of life: a tradition as old as mankind.

The fragrance industry is a multi-faceted one, with fine fragrances holding a celebrity status within it. For those who wear them, perfumes and colognes elicit feelings of joy, confidence, and a sense of well-being. They also present their wearers with an opportunity to create for themselves a virtually unforgettable, personal trademark. A subtle splash of fragrance has the ability to spark cherished memories and a wealth of emotions that can lift spirits, enrich romance, improve one’s mood, and lead to an overall feeling of happiness.

In our homes and work places, we look to a fragranced environment to add quality to our lives, with such items as scented candles, fragrance sprays and shower. Researchers believe the use of fragrances also results in a positive psychological impact. For example, pleasant scents may heighten the senses and at the same time enhance the learning process. In addition, fresh scents may have an effect at keeping people alert. Fragrances also work to boost moods or provide a feeling of calmness in the midst of busy days.

While invisible to the eye, fragrances add a perceived “color” to everyday life and special occasions, providing a deep, rich hue, which often goes unnoticed until it is gone. A walk outdoors would not be the same without the scent of pines or the smell of flowers. A world without fragrances would be comparable to a world without music, like a world without the vital shades that color our planet, like never having experienced the lush green of a verdant pasture, or the stirring emotion of an orchestral masterpiece.

Fragrances are an essential component to our everyday lives. Here are a few specific scientifically based benefits of fragrance:

Why We Use Fragrances

Scent is one of the most powerful of senses. Smelling a certain fragrance can signal a season or a treasured memory or simply make a mundane task, like cleaning, a little more enjoyable. Beyond the allure of the chiseled perfume bottle, fragrances are closely aligned with the benefits of other products, and, in fact, have come to enhance their effectiveness in the perception of those who use them. Researchers say that fragrances contained in household and personal products, from shampoo and cosmetics to laundry detergents and household cleaners, are near to synonymous with their perceived quality. Fragrances make clothes smell "clean," cosmetics "pretty," and households "well kept."

How Fragrances Affect Our Mood

The presence of fragrance can elicit an emotional response and therefore affect our mood. Research has shown that there is an anatomical basis for this. The sense of smell is directly plugged into human limbic system of the brain. This is the region where emotions and memories also reside. Therefore, fragrances can contribute to feelings of happiness, sensuality, relaxation or stimulation. They can also contribute to feelings of irritation, stress, depression and apathy.

Fragrance as a Cue for Cleanliness

Fragrance is an essential cue to consumers of cleanliness. The “smell of clean” is very important in delivering the consumer benefit of clean. For example, the washed laundry should not only look clean but should also smell clean or else the job is not done. If a laundry item smells clean it will also reduce the instance of washing the item again, thus saving natural resources such as water and energy.

Research shows that a pleasant fragrance is of top importance in the consumers’ mind when purchasing cleaning products. Furthermore, consumers frequently cite a pleasant fragrance as making the chore of cleaning easier and more enjoyable.

Fragrance and Health

While more research is needed to validate that fragrance induced positive mood results in measurable health effects, however many believe a correlation exists based on what we already know about the effect of fragrances on mood change. Researchers have found that inhaling a relaxing fragrance ingredient speeds up the recovery of skin barrier function of slightly damaged skin. Also, certain fragrances may reduce performance-related stress as measured physiologically in lowered blood pressure, reduced muscle tension or reduced startle reflex.

There is also increasing evidence that odors may influence human responses to pain. Such findings have been attributed either to odors directing attention away from the pain or to the fact that odors may influence moods, which in turn may modify the unpleasantness or intensity of pain.

Fragrance and Work Performance

Fragrances can have a positive effect on the work environment. Recent studies have shown that periodic administration of pleasant fragrances during a sustained attention task improves performance.

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