Posts

Olfactory psychology – The Language of Scents

Olfactory psychology

The Language of Scents

Olfactory  psychology is partly determined on the evocative power that only the scents of nature possess. These have had millennia to settle in the depth one of our psyche. Frankincense and aromatic resins have always accompanied our religious rituals, perfumed spices our foods, balms and infusions have cured us. Nevertheless olfactory  psychology depends in the first place on the psychology of smells, that’s to say on the effect that the odors produce on our nervous system and on the human psyche, activating the endocrine system in constant and predictable way, as demonstrated by the researchers in the field of psicoaromatherapy.

Some aromas are real archetypes of an olfactory language and speak to our subconscious in a more eloquent and convincing way than any speech.

The trees

Beautiful-Tall-Trees

The trees are standing straight and strong, they emanate quiet force and security.

Their scent helps to face the difficult times without being pulled down by adversities. The tree symbolizes the male qualities, stability, reliability and tenacity.

Tastes follow the changes of social roles and the woody aromas are often preferred by the women working in situations of competition with men, or who must assume charges or social roles traditionally reserved to them. That is because the woody smells will emphasize the masculine side and qualities that they must develop in order to assert themselves at the working place.

The woody scents evoke the primordial shelter of the trees and of the forests against weather and danger.

The archetype of the tree in the olfactory language is the pine, its resinous effluvia has perfumed the entire planet when it was covered of forests, million years ago. Its trunk raises itself straight and sturdy and allows it’s top to reach breathtaking heights. The trees of the pine family have the ability to resist to extreme climates and some of them are among the oldest living beings that exist.

From the pines come two olfactory notes: the wood and the leaves. The smell of the leaves is balsamic and provokes the expansion of the breath, in effects, is through the leaves that the tree breathes and its foliage is like a reversed lung. The aroma of the leaves opens the respiratory track and makes us raise the head to the sky exactly like the top of the trees. The essences obtained from the distillation of leaves from the various species of pines cure the most serious respiratory diseases. The wood of the pines trunk produces denser essential oils, they are more persistent and are often used in perfumery to give body and tenacity to natural perfumes. these essential oils are tenacious and stable, they emanate an image of reassuring force and they instill confidence.

In aromatherapy the essences of the trunk give strength to the bones, as it can easily be imagined, and to the articulations, in a particular way to the vertebral column. In much the same way in which the wood is warm and insulator, the essences of woods, and specially those of the pines, reinforce the ability of the body to resist to the diseases of the cold.

The resinsincenses

The resins are some of the noblest aromatic substances. They have the function to protect the tree from the aggression of virus, of fungi and the insects.

The resin g is present in small amount in the tree but its olfactory print pervades the entire plant from the roots to the seed because it is its “spirit “. The scent of aromatic resins therefore helps man to find that witch unites his physical, mental and emotional dimensions.

The noble qualities of resinous gums have been used from the antiquity as cure and protection against diseases and against aggressions be them physical or psychical.

The archetype of aromatic resins is Frankincense, called Olibano, from the Arab Lubaan. The tree of the desert that produces it is cared of and protected since thousands of years by the Bedouins, like a flock of goats or camels: the animals give the milk, the tree gives the “white tears” that drop from small wounds inflicted on the branches and on the trunk.

The tree of the Incense produces the resin in order to heal and to close its wounds and the essence of frankincense has a powerful healing power on the wounds of the body.

The Frankincense resin is still a precious good on the Arabic peninsula markets where, other than being burnt as incense, it is also chewed as chewing-gum and drunk in decoction to cure gastric and infectious diseases.

The aroma of Frankincense evokes the mystery of sacredness and spiritual authority. Worn as a perfume it communicates an image of nearly ecclesiastic seriousness . It can instill subjection and respect from the others and is certainly adapted to leaders and people of social authority, who can complete it with woody and musky notes that evocate solidity and tenacity, like oak moss.

The flowers

Jasmine-flower

The scent of flowers is certainly the most sublime and most etherised, and it symbolizes the most delicate and elevated human emotions.

Joyful and euforizing, the scent of flowers brings forth worriless, it renders joyful and it is at the base of aromatic cures against stress and anxiety in psycho-aromatherapy as well as in in perfumetherapy.

The flowers symbolize the femininity and their affinity with the feminine apparatus renders them precious for women in aromatherapy, helping in the in the cure of their disturbs.

The scent of the flowers, worn from a man, is able to stimulate its intuitive, irrational and artistic side, giving him the dimension of the “Complete Man?: the Warrior Poet of the cavalierly tradition.

 

Spices

Spice-Market

Trade has opened the roads of communication between cultures since the beginning of civilization, as civilization itself is based on trade.

The spices have had in this phenomenon a most important role. Their high commercial value was due to their curative virtues and to the refined pleasure they give to the palate. They are traditionally used all over the world in the cure of numerous diseases of the digestive apparatus. Spices are unique for allowing combining in food pleasure and health.

Spices come from the hot countries and they heat up the body with their great solar energy. For this reason they are most useful to northern people, being able to cure most part of diseases caused by cold. They are also aphrodisiac and warm up the soul helping cold tempered persons to unlock their emotions.

In the physical as well as in the psychological sense, spices are heating, strengthening and exciting, they strongly evoke oriental and exotic feelings although they have winned a privileged place in our daily life due to their extensive use on our tables. Their aroma reminds us of Christmas feasts, of cookies hot from the oven and of the house and family.

On the psychological level, spices allow us to experiment the taste of traveling to exotic countries in the perfect comfort of own house. They combine the deep fascination for adventure with a homely feeling of security.

This explains the great consent that spicy perfumes have always obtained and this is the very secret of some of the most popular fragrances.

Citruses

lemon

If the family of the citruses were compared to a human family, Grapefruit would be the the papa, with its bitter and strong aroma, orange would be the mother, juvenile, sweet and reassuring. Lemon is like an adolescent, extreme and rebel, Bergamot the daughter, sweet but of independent character and Tangerine with its sweetest tender scent could not be other that the child, the smallest one. In fact, tangerine essence is used in aromatherapy to cure nervous problems of the children.

The essences of citruses have all a strong antiseptic atmospheric power, and the property to rejoice the heart, to infuse a sense of good humor and to melt stress.

signature

See the animal scents that are used in traditional medicine and in perfumery (click here)

See also Olfactory psychology

loto1HOME

Pyramids, lies and mythos of Modern Perfumery

MY-HOUSE-IN-LEFKE-2
From my house in lefke.

If you believe that olfactory pyramids published by the industry are meant to give you information about the ingredients or about the smell of a perfume you are really ingenuous.

Pyramids are but a marketing tool used to persuade you into buying frags.

If you believe that the ingredients listed in the pyramids are in the fragrances you just missed the point. Pyramids are to make you dream a of a wonderful world where perfumes are made with real musk, real amber and real rose…

If it is written “Lavender”, it does is not meant the extract of lavender flowers, it means “lavender note” such as the one you find in dish wash soap. It smells nothing like lavender but it is, let us say, “legal lavender” because if it is not written “Lavender essential oil”, it is a “legal lye”. Read more

Sniffapaloozza interview with perfumer AbdesSalaam Attar

ambergris_fragrance

RB: Dominique, I must tell you, you have a fascinating web site and blog. You have articles on all sorts of fascinating subjects as well as carry many products-I love your web site.  Tell us about what you have created. 

“Create” is a big word for a small creature.  I have created nothing. The smelling plant itself does not create her perfume but she composes it  by transforming molecules and by binding already existing atoms that she finds in the air and in the earth, using the energy of the sun.
A natural perfumer is like a deejay assembling together melodies that are the songs of praise that nature sings to its creator. You could also compare the natural perfumer to a writer who narrates novels or writes epics and poesies with the language of smells: Every smell in the nature has a meaning and this meaning speaks to our heart. Never to a writer was it asked what was the last novel or poem he created, but only what he wrote. Read more

Perfume notes, mystery of the sense of smell

In perfumery a mixture that smells different from its components is called an accord. However the nose retains its capacity to analyse the accord in order to detect each component.
This is very stange.

Let us remark that the accord will be perceived as a smell of its own by everybody, but only the persons who know the ingredients will be able to analyse the accord.
Analysis of smell requires the help of the evolved part of  the brain, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex and the language center.

I have met people who are able to detect the presence in a perfume of the smallest part of an essence that they abhor, rose or Frankincense for instance.
Their nose does not detect the smell of rose or frankincense in the perfume, there is too little of that in the perfume to be detected, I know it well enough, having composed the perfume myself.

What they detect is the emotion that these smells associate. Read more

Mechanism of olfactory memory


Psycho-Aromatherapy is by Robert Tisserand

The perfumer invites people to smell perfumes, this can be a daily routine.I have a customer who smells the raw materials for his fragrance. I have it tried out by the barman next to my office, I diffuse scents during my didactic conferences. My pockets are always full of perfumes, I do not miss an occasion to spray them on other people’s hands, I leave behind me a sillage that stuns people who do not know me.
A perfumer never has to ask to someone what he thinks of the perfume: he has just smelt it is enough for him to observe and read the faces. Facial expressions are infinite, liking, repulsion, appeals to me but I wouldn’t wear it, doubtful, skeptical, intrigued, reminds me of something long ago but I do not know what, reminds me of something that I don’t like.

At the end the expressions are only of two categories: smiling and negative. If the person smiles it means “good”, if the person does not smile she will never buy a scent that will not make her happy, unless she wants to rid of the scent and make a gift to someone.

Read more

Pages

Olfactory psychology – The Language of Scents

Olfactory psychology

The Language of Scents

Olfactory  psychology is partly determined on the evocative power that only the scents of nature possess. These have had millennia to settle in the depth one of our psyche. Frankincense and aromatic resins have always accompanied our religious rituals, perfumed spices our foods, balms and infusions have cured us. Nevertheless olfactory  psychology depends in the first place on the psychology of smells, that’s to say on the effect that the odors produce on our nervous system and on the human psyche, activating the endocrine system in constant and predictable way, as demonstrated by the researchers in the field of psicoaromatherapy.

Some aromas are real archetypes of an olfactory language and speak to our subconscious in a more eloquent and convincing way than any speech.

The trees

Beautiful-Tall-Trees

The trees are standing straight and strong, they emanate quiet force and security.

Their scent helps to face the difficult times without being pulled down by adversities. The tree symbolizes the male qualities, stability, reliability and tenacity.

Tastes follow the changes of social roles and the woody aromas are often preferred by the women working in situations of competition with men, or who must assume charges or social roles traditionally reserved to them. That is because the woody smells will emphasize the masculine side and qualities that they must develop in order to assert themselves at the working place.

The woody scents evoke the primordial shelter of the trees and of the forests against weather and danger.

The archetype of the tree in the olfactory language is the pine, its resinous effluvia has perfumed the entire planet when it was covered of forests, million years ago. Its trunk raises itself straight and sturdy and allows it’s top to reach breathtaking heights. The trees of the pine family have the ability to resist to extreme climates and some of them are among the oldest living beings that exist.

From the pines come two olfactory notes: the wood and the leaves. The smell of the leaves is balsamic and provokes the expansion of the breath, in effects, is through the leaves that the tree breathes and its foliage is like a reversed lung. The aroma of the leaves opens the respiratory track and makes us raise the head to the sky exactly like the top of the trees. The essences obtained from the distillation of leaves from the various species of pines cure the most serious respiratory diseases. The wood of the pines trunk produces denser essential oils, they are more persistent and are often used in perfumery to give body and tenacity to natural perfumes. these essential oils are tenacious and stable, they emanate an image of reassuring force and they instill confidence.

In aromatherapy the essences of the trunk give strength to the bones, as it can easily be imagined, and to the articulations, in a particular way to the vertebral column. In much the same way in which the wood is warm and insulator, the essences of woods, and specially those of the pines, reinforce the ability of the body to resist to the diseases of the cold.

The resinsincenses

The resins are some of the noblest aromatic substances. They have the function to protect the tree from the aggression of virus, of fungi and the insects.

The resin g is present in small amount in the tree but its olfactory print pervades the entire plant from the roots to the seed because it is its “spirit “. The scent of aromatic resins therefore helps man to find that witch unites his physical, mental and emotional dimensions.

The noble qualities of resinous gums have been used from the antiquity as cure and protection against diseases and against aggressions be them physical or psychical.

The archetype of aromatic resins is Frankincense, called Olibano, from the Arab Lubaan. The tree of the desert that produces it is cared of and protected since thousands of years by the Bedouins, like a flock of goats or camels: the animals give the milk, the tree gives the “white tears” that drop from small wounds inflicted on the branches and on the trunk.

The tree of the Incense produces the resin in order to heal and to close its wounds and the essence of frankincense has a powerful healing power on the wounds of the body.

The Frankincense resin is still a precious good on the Arabic peninsula markets where, other than being burnt as incense, it is also chewed as chewing-gum and drunk in decoction to cure gastric and infectious diseases.

The aroma of Frankincense evokes the mystery of sacredness and spiritual authority. Worn as a perfume it communicates an image of nearly ecclesiastic seriousness . It can instill subjection and respect from the others and is certainly adapted to leaders and people of social authority, who can complete it with woody and musky notes that evocate solidity and tenacity, like oak moss.

The flowers

Jasmine-flower

The scent of flowers is certainly the most sublime and most etherised, and it symbolizes the most delicate and elevated human emotions.

Joyful and euforizing, the scent of flowers brings forth worriless, it renders joyful and it is at the base of aromatic cures against stress and anxiety in psycho-aromatherapy as well as in in perfumetherapy.

The flowers symbolize the femininity and their affinity with the feminine apparatus renders them precious for women in aromatherapy, helping in the in the cure of their disturbs.

The scent of the flowers, worn from a man, is able to stimulate its intuitive, irrational and artistic side, giving him the dimension of the “Complete Man?: the Warrior Poet of the cavalierly tradition.

 

Spices

Spice-Market

Trade has opened the roads of communication between cultures since the beginning of civilization, as civilization itself is based on trade.

The spices have had in this phenomenon a most important role. Their high commercial value was due to their curative virtues and to the refined pleasure they give to the palate. They are traditionally used all over the world in the cure of numerous diseases of the digestive apparatus. Spices are unique for allowing combining in food pleasure and health.

Spices come from the hot countries and they heat up the body with their great solar energy. For this reason they are most useful to northern people, being able to cure most part of diseases caused by cold. They are also aphrodisiac and warm up the soul helping cold tempered persons to unlock their emotions.

In the physical as well as in the psychological sense, spices are heating, strengthening and exciting, they strongly evoke oriental and exotic feelings although they have winned a privileged place in our daily life due to their extensive use on our tables. Their aroma reminds us of Christmas feasts, of cookies hot from the oven and of the house and family.

On the psychological level, spices allow us to experiment the taste of traveling to exotic countries in the perfect comfort of own house. They combine the deep fascination for adventure with a homely feeling of security.

This explains the great consent that spicy perfumes have always obtained and this is the very secret of some of the most popular fragrances.

Citruses

lemon

If the family of the citruses were compared to a human family, Grapefruit would be the the papa, with its bitter and strong aroma, orange would be the mother, juvenile, sweet and reassuring. Lemon is like an adolescent, extreme and rebel, Bergamot the daughter, sweet but of independent character and Tangerine with its sweetest tender scent could not be other that the child, the smallest one. In fact, tangerine essence is used in aromatherapy to cure nervous problems of the children.

The essences of citruses have all a strong antiseptic atmospheric power, and the property to rejoice the heart, to infuse a sense of good humor and to melt stress.

signature

See the animal scents that are used in traditional medicine and in perfumery (click here)

See also Olfactory psychology

loto1HOME

Pyramids, lies and mythos of Modern Perfumery

MY-HOUSE-IN-LEFKE-2
From my house in lefke.

If you believe that olfactory pyramids published by the industry are meant to give you information about the ingredients or about the smell of a perfume you are really ingenuous.

Pyramids are but a marketing tool used to persuade you into buying frags.

If you believe that the ingredients listed in the pyramids are in the fragrances you just missed the point. Pyramids are to make you dream a of a wonderful world where perfumes are made with real musk, real amber and real rose…

If it is written “Lavender”, it does is not meant the extract of lavender flowers, it means “lavender note” such as the one you find in dish wash soap. It smells nothing like lavender but it is, let us say, “legal lavender” because if it is not written “Lavender essential oil”, it is a “legal lye”. Read more

Sniffapaloozza interview with perfumer AbdesSalaam Attar

ambergris_fragrance

RB: Dominique, I must tell you, you have a fascinating web site and blog. You have articles on all sorts of fascinating subjects as well as carry many products-I love your web site.  Tell us about what you have created. 

“Create” is a big word for a small creature.  I have created nothing. The smelling plant itself does not create her perfume but she composes it  by transforming molecules and by binding already existing atoms that she finds in the air and in the earth, using the energy of the sun.
A natural perfumer is like a deejay assembling together melodies that are the songs of praise that nature sings to its creator. You could also compare the natural perfumer to a writer who narrates novels or writes epics and poesies with the language of smells: Every smell in the nature has a meaning and this meaning speaks to our heart. Never to a writer was it asked what was the last novel or poem he created, but only what he wrote. Read more

Perfume notes, mystery of the sense of smell

In perfumery a mixture that smells different from its components is called an accord. However the nose retains its capacity to analyse the accord in order to detect each component.
This is very stange.

Let us remark that the accord will be perceived as a smell of its own by everybody, but only the persons who know the ingredients will be able to analyse the accord.
Analysis of smell requires the help of the evolved part of  the brain, particularly the orbitofrontal cortex and the language center.

I have met people who are able to detect the presence in a perfume of the smallest part of an essence that they abhor, rose or Frankincense for instance.
Their nose does not detect the smell of rose or frankincense in the perfume, there is too little of that in the perfume to be detected, I know it well enough, having composed the perfume myself.

What they detect is the emotion that these smells associate. Read more

Mechanism of olfactory memory


Psycho-Aromatherapy is by Robert Tisserand

The perfumer invites people to smell perfumes, this can be a daily routine.I have a customer who smells the raw materials for his fragrance. I have it tried out by the barman next to my office, I diffuse scents during my didactic conferences. My pockets are always full of perfumes, I do not miss an occasion to spray them on other people’s hands, I leave behind me a sillage that stuns people who do not know me.
A perfumer never has to ask to someone what he thinks of the perfume: he has just smelt it is enough for him to observe and read the faces. Facial expressions are infinite, liking, repulsion, appeals to me but I wouldn’t wear it, doubtful, skeptical, intrigued, reminds me of something long ago but I do not know what, reminds me of something that I don’t like.

At the end the expressions are only of two categories: smiling and negative. If the person smiles it means “good”, if the person does not smile she will never buy a scent that will not make her happy, unless she wants to rid of the scent and make a gift to someone.

Read more