Scent, a powerful means of communication and a source of wonder

Author: Redazione Date: 10 May '22 Category: Perfume World
Scent, a powerful means of communication and a source of wonder Indeed, entering the world of fragrances is like falling through the looking glass and finding on the other side a daily miracle, a mystery, a source of wonder.
Few people really know the true power of smell, one of the most powerful, surprising and unpredictable senses.
Let’s find out why.

Emotions

Smell is the only sense that comes into contact with our emotions sooner than with reason. In fact, by not reaching the cerebral cortex (in charge of decoding and rational processing of sensory messages) if not at a last stage, olfactory stimuli are less subjected to the power of reason than other sensory stimuli. Scent is therefore able to make us feel good, to excite us in the most mysterious way and to give birth to distant memories in us.

Physical and mental well-being

Smell is undoubtedly pleasant. Aromatic substances have long played a therapeutic and spiritual role in human society and modern day life. Smells still have an effect on our health, mood and emotions.

Olfactory Memory

Aromas can take us anywhere. They are a magic carpet that we can ride in hidden worlds, not only in other times and other places, but deep inside ourselves, under the surface of everyday life. We close our eyes – we do it instinctively – before inhaling a scent, as if we were preparing for an inner journey, and, even before consciously recognising what we are smelling, we let ourselves be carried away without our consent; or we are stopped in our tracks, brought entirely into the present moment.

The most ancestral sense

In A Natural History of the Senses, Diane Ackerman reminds us that our pre-human selves started out in the ocean, relying on our noses to forage for food and identify enemies. “In our fishier early version of humanity, smell was the first of our senses,” she writes, “and cognition evolved from it: our cerebral hemispheres were originally buds of olfactory stalks. We think because we smelled”.

The most powerful sense

On a molecular level, scent touches nerves. In order for a distinct odour to be perceived, some volatile constituents of the odorous substance must vaporise, diffuse deep into the nose and deposit on the olfactory receptors. Sight and hearing, on the other hand, depend only on the perception of light or sound waves that emanate or are reflected by the object in question which, in a certain sense, they limit themselves to describing; smell, on the other hand, implies physical contact with its emanation. If someone places a batch of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies on the counter, their tantalising aroma enters your nose and triggers a sensory response, touching you before you can even reach out to pick one up. A single smell instantly triggers a cascade of memories. Experiences and emotions attach primarily to smells. Those associations of memory and feeling are immediately activated when the smell is “encountered” again, even twenty years later. Smell seems to be the sense of singularity. Forms reappear, invariant or recurring, harmonies are transformed, stable through variations, specificity is marked by the aroma. With eyes closed, ears still, feet and hands tied, lips sealed, we can still identify, years later and amongst a thousand other smells, the undergrowth of this and that place in a particular season, at sunset, just before a storm, or the room where the fodder corn was kept, or the cooked plums in September.

The Ephèmera experience

As we have seen, smell contributes to our experience of the environment and affects our mood, emotions and memory. Scent is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to branding and communication. It allows you to reach the heart of your customers without even saying a word. With scent, you can help your customers recall positive memories, evoke certain dreams and associate your product or service with positive concepts.

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