What is Aromachology?
“Smell is the sense of memory and desire.”
Mount Fuji, Japan
The study of aromachology emerged in Japan around the turn of the 20th century and was given its own name in the 1970s to distinguish it from aromatherapy.
It has been extensively researched over the past 20 years, with much of the focus on how the limbic system interprets various odours.
The limbic system, which is responsible for producing emotions and innate actions like hunger and thirst, is considered essential to aromachology.
How Does Aromachology Work?
Aromas are carried by tiny particles that enter our bodies through the nostrils and are chemically represented by olfactory receptor cells.
These cells use olfactory receptor proteins to translate the chemical information of scents into electric pulses that are sent to the limbic system.
The limbic system then processes and stores this information, influencing our mood, appetite, focus, and memory.
“Nothing brings to life again a forgotten memory like a fragrance.”
We already know that the limbic system is where emotions and other innate actions, like hunger, thirst, and satiety, are produced.
Instincts are triggered by the limbic system, which the hypothalamus then controls. Our ability to survive is fundamentally influenced by the limbic system.
It is not controlled by human will, and depending on the stimulus, its response can be very strong.
It is reasonable to conclude that the limbic system is essential to aromachology. Aromas are carried by tiny particles that enter our bodies through the nostrils.
Our nose is designed to assess the portion of this entering air. Different aromas are chemically represented by the olfactory receptor cells, which are found in the nasal turbinates.
To translate the chemical information of scents into electric pulses, the olfactory receptor cells use the more than 1000 olfactory receptor proteins they store in their cilia.
The limbic system receives this information, which is subsequently processed in the brain after being evaluated and stored there.
We now understand that fragrances have the power to alter our mood as well as our appetite, focus, and memory, among other things.
Aromachology and Olfactory Memory
There are two distinct psychological processes that are stimulated by aromas:
It comes from the direct response of our psyche to an aroma.
The scent or odour is the only factor that matters.
The scents or foods that "awaken" our urge for sexual activity are examples of this primary stimulation.
Secondary Process or Olfactory Memory
The secondary process is a result of the olfactory memory-based response to an aroma, which describes the instantaneous recognition of an odour since it has been previously stored in our memory.
This perfume may trigger memories of specific locations, people, or emotions, or we may associate it with a group of senses.
All of the feelings stored in our brain's fragrance programming can be reactivated by our olfactory memory.
When we unexpectedly smell a scent that brings back vivid memories from our childhood (such as images, sounds, feelings, or emotions), this secondary process is an example.
“If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again.”
-Daphne du Maurier-
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