Perhaps the most sensitive of all sense organs is the nose. In fact its function is so subtle that many don’t understand its effectiveness. Even before you see what is being cooked in your kitchen, the aroma entices you and you are driven towards the dining each evening. On the other hand if you smell something unfavourable or if you suspect a burning smell, you wouldn’t even like to taste the dish. Similarly a beautiful smelling bouquet of roses or jasmine may capture your attention or quite some while whereas artificial flowers without any aroma but neatly and brightly packed may not appeal to you to such an extent. Aroma or smell influences our lives in all aspects be it at work or at home. Imagine your work place to be under the influence of your favourite room freshener, wouldn’t your efficacy go up?
Ever thought how this smell has such an impact on us? This is all a game of impulses. Our nose detects the smell of a stimulus and the nerves in this organ transmit this stimulus to the brain in form of electrical impulses. In other words, the aroma is converted to electrical impulses and is then transmitted to the brain. The brain then reads this message and takes adequate actions to respond to it. Now each aroma is converted to a different type of signal and corresponds to a specific action of the brain. Hence different aromas call for different actions of the body.
This has applications in natural medicine too. When the body is under stress or any sickness, the relevant essential oils are used to generate electrical signals in the brain through olfactory nerves which would then correspond to suitable responses of the body to mitigate the problem. For example, if the person is stressed out and overworked, essential oils which relax the body and the mind are used to relieve the person of the stress. Similarly if the person is lazing around, stimulation can also be provided by using some other essential oils.
Romance and aromatherapy
Ever wondered why most men deodorants are in musk and sandalwood? The reason lies in aromatherapy. Musk and sandalwood resemble the pheromones in the sweat of human men. Women are attracted to these pheromones. Since musk and sandalwood resemble these pheromones, the affinity of women towards these fragrances is large enough. Hence, these are used as deodorants. Similarly there are aromas like vanilla, ylang ylang and jasmine which trigger sexual responses in humans.
Headache, cold and aromatherapy
Eucalyptus oil is an ancient cure for any coughs, colds and headaches. This acts as an expectorant and relieves the pain sensation in the head. This is the reason why inhalers and vapors of this oil are given in coughs and colds.
Acne and aromatherapy
The essential oils which are believed to be the most effective and appropriate for acne treatment are: Tea tree oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia), Lavender oil (Lavandula Officinalis), Helichrysum (Helichrysum Angustifolia) and Ylang Ylang (Cananga Odorata). Most aromatherapy practitioners suggest mixing the above oils with Jojoba vegetable oil before applying to skin. Usually, a cotton pad is used to deliver the blend directly to the acne spot. These essential oils have been proved to stop the growth of a broad range of bacteria and microbes which cause acne. The have remarkable antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, they clear and unclog pores, heal scars and generally help to remove acne spots contributing to a fresh and supple skin. As mentioned before, jojoba is the one of the best carrier oil for dilution because it is not greasy, so it does not block the pores, but it moisturises and exfoliates the skin.
In many cases a blend of perfume is used rather than one. A successful perfume is considered as an “aromatic symphony” – a perfect and harmonious blend of top, middle and base notes. Top notes are sharp, fleeting and alluring scents, those first noticed in a fragrance and the first to fade. Middle notes summarise the fragrance midway through the drying process, which can be considered the soul, or the melody of the blend. And base notes are deep, rich, stable, grounding scents that stabilise the fragrance and prolong its power, because their slow evaporation rate.