Essences and Our Emotions
Odors Affect Brain’s Circuitry
Odors have an effect on our brain’s circuitry for essences and responses. Emotions such as love, protectiveness, pleasure and energy are triggered in the limbic system in the brain. This helps to translate emotions into hormonal responses. Throughout time the sense of smell has been critical to our memories. Smell by passes areas of the brain responsible for cognitive processing and the emotions are affected first. That is how essences and emotions are connected.
The intrinsic effect towards healing have been researched in critical review papers such as the Review in Food Science and Nutrition. There is continual research going on at many fragrance and food flavoring houses throughout the world regarding the effects between essences and emotions. Fragrances are also seen as an affective way to enhance an experience, such as wanting to stay longer in a place such as a store, or wanting to play longer in a Casino. Therefore people are seeing an increase in the value of aroma. Casinos and large hotels use them to create excitement and fun. When a resort wants to relay relaxation, they may use eucalyptus and lavender.
Create Feelings of Romance, Calmness and Alertness
Women tend to have a better sense of smell and therefore react strongly to essences. Although seen by some as superstitious, scents have been known for centuries to alleviate negative emotions and promote feelings of happiness and pleasure. Only recently have there have been studies to prove what has seemed obvious over the years because of the success of perfumes. The fragrance houses have been very successful in creating unique scents using the knowledge between essences and emotions. Much work goes into each formula to establish a character and a memorable essence for years to come. Each of the fragrances can vary slightly on the skin of different women. There are a few established known factors that are used in today’s popular aromatherapy that are not yet specific yet bring effective results.
Some of the established known healers are: lavender for its relaxation and stress relief qualities, rosemary for memory, ylang-ylang oil for happiness, patchouli for calmness, peppermint for digestion and vanilla for calmness and happiness.
The Research Behind the Effects of Fragrance
International Flavors and Fragrances did a report on a system they named, Mood Mapping, in which they tested fragrances on people around the world to see if they responded to certain scents in similar ways. The Mood Mapping was a series of eight categories of moods that were presented to the panel of testers. The point was to evaluate the moods of people according to eight factors.
The Mood Mapping studies proved that fragrance does have a powerful affect and can counteract emotions such as the all too common feelings of stress and being over-whelmed. This interesting fragrance information has been used in products to destress and relax individuals. In their study, other essences or combination of fragrances, brought on emotions of calm and romance. Aromatherapy products represent a substantial and growing area of the marketplace and this type of research can strengthen the basis for making stress-relief claims in these products.
Scents and Our Appetite
Studies have also shown that certain fragrances can change our emotions around our eating patterns. The scientific research shows that sweeter scents, such as caramel and chocolate are favored over non-sweet scents. These sweet scents bring on feelings of hunger. Non-sweet scents or neutral scents can curb the appetite. This information is being used by food fragrance companies to help in the obesity epidemic in our country. The studies, done in the United States, were done with over 3,000 overweight women. They established that neutral scents that were inhaled before and after a meal reduce the appetite. The women in the study lost an average of five pounds or 30 pounds over six months. Source: J. Neurol. Orthop. Med. Surg., 1995; 16:28-31.
There are several companies that are establishing work on this research between essences and emotions. First Impressions Productions has introduced a group of four essences that enhance different emotions. These have been developed into eye pillows and sprays. Both have pure essential oils and will bring on energy, relaxation, passion and refreshment. These essences were developed to reduce the dependency on prescriptions and bring natural emotions to heal and relax.