Aromas delivered to the olfactory (smell) receptors in the brain have a powerful effect on behavior. Just think on how you respond when you smell a cup of coffee first thing in the morning or react to a dead skunk on the side of the road. Influencing behavior using scent is a new medical frontier.
In recent years research in olfaction has increased dramatically and we are experiencing a scent revolution that will allow us to expand the pleasures of smell and also to use this sense as a tool to manage our emotions, allow early detection of diseases, and treat a wide variety of psychological and pathological problems. Overall, it will provide a better understanding of how smell can enhance our lives and well being.
Odorous molecules travel up the nose to a patch of nerve cells located above the eyes. From this olfactory bulb, smells go to the higher brain centers that are responsible for conscious discrimination and to the areas that control emotions. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), highly detailed maps of metabolic activity in the brain have given researchers a deeper understanding of how the brain receives and processes olfactory information.
As further research identifies how odor is perceived, differentiated and transmitted, the door will open for improving and intensifying almost all our olfactory experiences. When applied to health and beauty products, they will deliver the added benefit of an enhanced sense of well-being. Scents will be more than a fashion accessory or statement of personal style; they will routinely be used to:
This new understanding of the psychological and physiological effects of scents will result in scientific and medical applications as well:
Without a doubt, the sense of smell will increasingly play a prominent and positive role in improving our daily lives and in expanding our sensory experiences in the 21st century.
Breaths comes in pairs except for two times in our lives – the beginning and the end.