Posts Tagged ‘olfactory system’

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I recently did a study on scent.  I thought I would learn additional fragrance blending methods, taking the skills to the shop with me.  I picked up on more than that.  Very interesting!

How does a person detect scent? We breathe in tiny molecules that carry scent.  The molecules travel through our nose, landing on receptors that are on a direct path to our brain (our olfactory system).   No other sense is detected directly by the brain as is the sense of smell!

We are constantly alert to scent, we live by it.  We smell food cooking and we get hungry.  We smell smoke and we instantly think danger! The nose is always at work. 

Scent is closely attached to memory.  This experience can be good, and for some, a particular scent brings forward memories that they might particularly want to bury.  From a very early age, our memories are glued to particular scents.  This, in turn, directly affects our moods!

Walk into a pristine drug store.  Have you noticed the scent that wafts past your head as you enter the doors? It is piped in…piped in to make us feel comfortable, taken care of, creating a mood that makes us feel good about buying products from that particular store.

But…scent isn’t just about what our nose smells, nor is it all about memory.  It can also bring forward exact physical reactions within our bodies.  Essential oils contain types of molecules that our bodies easily process.  We breathe in the scent directly from an essential oil, picking up the molecules.  The molecules travel to our lungs.  A physical process transpires as our lungs begin to absorb what we have inhaled.  As we absorb, the physical reaction that occurs is related to the properties of that particular essential oil.  Take lavender, for example, calming and relaxing.  A safe calm, without drugs.  It makes a person think! It also brings forward a good reminder, when working with pure essential oils, know your allergies and special medical conditions.

And lastly, speaking of scent, how does an animal detect our thoughts (such as fear)? They can smell it! Yes, they can.  Our noses, as humans, cannot detect subtle hormonal or adrenalyn changes that are released (the odor of our body changes) when we become frightened or excited, but an animal can detect the tiniest of change.  When we say animals have a sixth sense, literally, could it be that they simply have a keener sense of smell? It is definitely something to consider!

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