I still remember with sadness the words spoken on TV by a former Enichem employee in Italy, who was suffering from cancer during the scandal of January 2003 when news of the company’s toxic waste was breaking. The poor man was saying “in the aromatic department we are all falling ill, one after the other” …
In December 2002 the news broke that in the USA a “skunk bomb” had been successfully tested. This weapon could disrupt and wreck the enemy’s nervous system. This shows the real direction of the scientific studies carried out in this field. It is not very therapeutic, is it?
Good news is that natural aromas are not harmful. On the contrary, they are beneficial and there is a field in “green” olfactory research where essential oils are tested for the treatment of disorders that can otherwise only be dealt with psychiatric drugs (see Perfumetherapy)
Some scientific research in this field is currently tackling the issue of the therapeutic use of the subliminal effects of aromas. Here the patient is first exposed subliminally to the aroma during the therapy. Then, later on, he inhales the aroma consciously in order to obtain a feedback response to the treatment.
I believe this goes along the line of tapping into the “olfactory memory,” if one can say that. For example, the scent of honeysuckle brings pleasant tears to my eyes, for it reminds me of my grandmother’s backyard. Scent, and remembering it, is a powerful thing.