Empire of the Senses

The impact of fragrance on the human soul has been well known since time immemorial.

By IRIT MATHIAS
June 15, 2011 10:48
Metzada products

smelly products 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The scent of our home is our hallmark, much like our perfume. How do you turn the home into a kingdom of fragrance? Which aromas help calm us down, ease headaches, and let harmony reign? Which scents will create a good atmosphere when we’re with friends, at work, and which smell shouldn’t be in the dining room? Air fresheners in metal bottles with plastic caps produce lavender or fruity scents, as do fragrant gels; both are still sold in supermarkets. But, the scent culture has come a long way in recent years. Scented candles, potpourri, home fragrances and a variety of air fresheners have been added, all of which are beautifully packaged.

The design of the space in which we spend the majority of our lives, the home, has crossed the boundaries of furniture, flooring, and pictures. Most of us dedicate a large part of our attention to products and accessories which create atmosphere. When there’s a demand, there’s also a supply, and in recent years, stores specializing in the culture of scent have opened.

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Leading fashion designers have latched onto this trend and produced candles which match their fragrances.

Toiletry companies renew the field once in a while with automatic scent dispensers for rooms, carpet deodorizers, and scented fabric softener sheets for the dryer and upholstery.

Out of the five senses, the sense of smell is considered the most influential on emotions, imagination, memory and dreams. Fragrance stimulates the brain directly and sets off a chain reaction. It reflects a pure and rich sensation, but also hesitation, disgust, and hatred. A person can differentiate between 10,000 different kinds of smells over the course of his lifetime, and each scent has its own association.

The scent which encompasses our home, whether it’s vanilla, roses, citrus or, heaven forbid, cigarettes, says a lot about us. A pleasant odor can create an atmosphere, and it influences concentration and the nervous system. It causes us to work better or worse.

Many scents act the same way drugs do, and can alleviate fears.

Scents are known as materials which can influence us and for their therapeutic properties. With home fragrances, people can control their environments, cover unpleasant odors, and improve the air quality which we breathe, mostly in urban areas. We can turn our home into a self healing center with fragrance. Scent turns any space into a more pleasant and better one, and makes daily life better.

Watching TV and reading the paper can be a sensual experience when you light scented candles in the room, which have become a common item in many homes. If we’re dealing with fragrances, what’s better than diving into scented sheets, or wearing clothes after they’ve come out of a fragrant washer or a perfumed dryer. For nature lovers who dream of pine trees in the mountains, can perfume themselves with incense.

Our sense of smell is the key to creating mood, and it works faster than any medicine. Two seconds after you smell a certain scent or aroma, they trigger our senses for better or worse.

Studies have proven that smelling pleasant fragrances improves your mood. Conversely, sniffing unpleasant odors deter us and even depress the immune system. Researchers at Yale University in the US have proven that smelling apples and cinnamon has a calming effect on people. Medical centers in the US have discovered that the scent of vanilla had a positive and calming influence on families of cancer patients.

A company conducted research on two groups of law students invited the two groups into the lab and put them in two separate rooms. The students were asked to review a form. A scent was piped into one room and not into the other.

The results showed that the memory of the participants in the room in which the scent was sprayed was much better.

The impact of fragrance on the human soul has been well known since time immemorial.

People have been perfuming their surroundings to keep away demons and spirits. In ancient Egypt, servants danced with fragrant garlands around their heads in order to perfume the air as they moved. In ancient Rome, Romans used to pour essence of roses into the water channels which flowed through their gardens. In the rest of Europe, people used to put lavender, thyme, and rosemary in the corners of homes to perfume the space and keep bugs away.

In the 16th century, lavender sachets were invented, which perfumed the home and closets. Today, we scent our homes in order to get rid of unpleasant odors because we want a high quality of life, which is expressed in a designed and artistic environment. Today, part of interior design and flower arranging is meant to create a unique atmosphere, a unique scent. Designers match each room to a specific fragrance, according to the atmosphere they wish to create. For example, the aroma of eucalyptus isn’t suitable for a festive meal, or for the kitchen and dining nook space. In the work space, don’t perfume the air with calming lavender. It’s better to put an incense burner or candle with a citrus fragrance, which stimulates. The source of the scent is also important. It’s recommended to position candles or incense burners in dark, uncluttered corners so that the source of scent and light will provide good energy to the space.

There are fragrances for the home, sheets and upholstery which are marketed in deluxe bottles. You can choose scented candles, scented ceramic stones, and a rich variety of incense and essences for burners.

Electronic companies are already diligently working on planning air conditioners which produce aromatherapy fragrances suited to each hour of the day: stimulating fragrances in the morning, pleasant fragrances for the afternoon, and calming fragrances for the evening and night.


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