Scottish biochemist and perfumer Dr. George Dodd, a leading expert in the science of smell, spent eighteen months combining thousands of scent molecules before he discovered the perfect blend that activates the part of the brain that deals with happiness and pleasure – including sexual desire. According to Dodd, the complex blend of scent molecules mimic the size, shape, and electrical charge of dopamine, the body’s ‘feel good’ hormone – the one that also makes us feel aroused.
Surveys claim that over 40% of women experience a lack of sexual desire at some point during their lives. Whether caused by external factors such as stress, fatigue and relationship issues, or by physical changes like menopause. The demand for female sexual products is expected to grow dramatically as our population grows older. Over the next ten years, over 35 million women will enter their menopause years and a concern for many is the loss of intimacy within their relationship.
Unlike most drugs or topical applications that are designed to alter the body’s chemistry, our sense of smell is non-invasive and directly influences our moods and sense of well being. Our brain processes information delivered through sight, sound, taste and touch by identifying the incoming information first, which then triggers the emotions. But our sense of smell does the reverse. Incoming aromas are first processed by the emotions and subsequently identified. Like have you ever walked into a room and it smelled so familiar and later remembered it smelled of your classroom in grade school? This shows how you reacted to the smell first and then identified where you’ve smelt it before. Our most powerful feelings are triggered when the emotional centers of the brain are activated by the stimulation of different smell receptors.
Aromachology offers a holistic option to the growing concern over the alarming side effects of prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs. Researchers are developing a growing number of products that use our sense of smell to enhance and alter our moods. Our olfactory system can help influence moods as:
Many health problems, including sexual dysfunction or low libido, stem from psychological issues and are difficult to treat with conventional drug therapies. This has become particularly evident in the pursuit of a drug to treat FSD (Female Sexual Dysfunction); the magic pill is still very elusive and is probably years away from passing FDA approval. Adding to the issue is the growing concern over the side effects of taking more and more pills, many of which have an ironic debilitating effect on libido.
But Liz Paul, an advocate for female sexual health and Britain’s 2004 Female Inventor of the Year, has a different perspective on where the research should be. “Sexual desire isn’t just about the motion,” says Paul. “A women’s sexual desire starts on the inside as an emotion. Isn’t that where the focus should be?”
Perhaps a solution to a lack of desire may have been under our nose all along. Scent therapy may well be the new medical frontier.
Breaths comes in pairs except for two times in our lives – the beginning and the end.