The sense of smell is experiencing a renaissance. From perfume, scented candles to aromatherapy oils for home use, smellies are fragrancing our lifestyle in different ways.
Studies show that scent has a powerful impact on our wellbeing. New aromas are being discovered as are new scent-based applications and inhalation patches while innovations are being explored in the ways we harness the power of smell.
The concept of aromatherapy or using scent to treat disease is an ancient practice. From back in the Roman times, smelling salts were carried in first-aid boxes and used to bring back consciousness. But thanks to huge leaps in technology, fragrance development and neuroscience studies, medical professionals are now taking the role of scent treatment more seriously.
The brain creates memories in connection with smells which indicates that aromas can play a healing role for people with neurological disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Scent therapy helps ground and relax people with short-term memory loss by activating positive memories from their past.
In the workplace, scent is an invisible mood booster. In hotels lobby-perfumed aromas add to the welcome while at home scented diffusers are the modern accessory to interior furnishings.
Scents are crossing into the medical sphere as their crucial role in our physical and emotional wellbeing increases.
A Scented history:
A history of perfume can be traced to Cleopatra who used fragrant oils to seduce Mark Anthony.
Hippocrates, the Greek physician believed aromatherapy prevented disease.
In the 13thcentury Marco Polo introduced fragrant spices to Venice setting a trend for wearing a “pomander”, (a metal ball of aromatics), around the neck, finger or girdle.
The first recorded alcohol- based perfume, Hungary Water, was created for the Queen of Hungary. It was made from rosemary which was believed to preserve youth and beauty.
In 1845 a blend of Bulgarian rose oil, musk, ambergris and bergamot created the light, flora scents of jasmine and violet for Queen Victoria.