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Fragrances And How They Affect Our Mood

 

Fragrance is the strongest of the senses and is best able to influence brain activity. It has a powerful effect on behavior. Certain fragrances can brighten our moods and lift our spirits, like the fragrance of a good cup of coffee and warm cinnamon buns straight from the oven. Some fragrances we might find repulsive and alert us to danger.  Just think of your reaction to the unpleasant scent of a skunk or the fragrance of burning toast. Such strong fragrances usually trigger an instant reaction and alert us to take corrective action. An exotic perfume or the fragrance of your lover’s skin can lead to intimacy and romance while others bring a sense of calm and make us feel at home. Some fragrances simply make you feel better.

Since birth, our fragrance receptors have been busy cataloguing every fragrance that passed through our nostrils. The brain processes information delivered through our other senses by cognitive identification first, which in turn triggers an emotional response. But our sense of fragrance is unique. It does the opposite. Our fragrance receptors are directly connected to the limbic system which controls emotional behavior and memory. Incoming aromas first trigger an emotional response which is then followed by cognitive recognition. As new-born infants snuggled up against our mothers’ breast, the fragrance of her skin gave us a deep sense of comfort and safety. That first fragrance, lodged deep within our memory, still has the power to trigger intense feelings. The environment of our childhood, with its varied fragrances, built the platform of fragrance memories which determines how we respond to the hints of those fragrances to today.

If fragrances are such powerful influencers of moods and behavior doesn’t it make sense that changing the fragrance can also change the behavior ?  Research is pointing to that probability. So while the sense of fragrance is the least known of our senses, it has recently emerged as a new medical frontier. As research identifies how fragrance is identified and transmitted, we will be able to use a variety of fragrances to obtain the maximum benefits we desire. Scientists suggest the quickest way to alter mood or emotion is with fragrances. They discovered that specific fragrances can suppress appetite, reduce stress and anxiety, induce happiness, and help you get a good night's sleep, keep you awake and alert, and even increase romantic desire.  

The perception of fragrance consists not only of the sensation of the odors themselves but of the experiences and emotions associated with these sensations. Fragrances can evoke strong emotional reactions. The positive emotional effects of pleasant fragrances also affect our perceptions of other people. In experiments, subjects exposed to pleasant fragrances tend to give higher attractiveness ratings to people in photographs, although some recent studies have shown that these effects are only significant where there is some ambiguity in the pictures. If a person is clearly outstandingly beautiful, or not our type, fragrance does not affect our judgment. But if the person is just average, a pleasant fragrance will tip the balance of our evaluation in his or her favor. So, the beautiful models used to advertise perfume probably have no need of it, but the rest of us ordinary mortals might well benefit from a spray or two of something pleasant.

Fragrances can be persuasive. They are one of the most powerful triggers to memory. Sometimes a fragrance can take you to a past moment or trigger a past memory. The right fragrance can make you energized, aroused or confident for example. The influence of fragrances over our moods is quite powerful.  What  fragrances influence YOU ?

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Dawn Turner, currently resides in a small town in central Wisconsin and is the proud mom of two. She is an expert in fragrance and owns IndigoFragrance.com. Indigo Fragrance sells quality fragrance oils and supplies. Dawn, a self professed scent junkie, loves to travel with her husband, ride ATVs, listen to music and eat vast amounts of chocolate.

 

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