How natural fragrances affect our psychology and attitude towards life itself. The science that connects perfumes with our emotions
How many times do we take a big breath in the face of important events in our lives, a breath to manage our joy, our sorrow, our stress or just to enjoy a sweet moment?
One of the reasons this happens is because smell is a key factor of how we interact with the chemical substances around us.
And don’t rush to think that there is nothing chemical in your environment.
The chemicals in your environment
By chemicals I mean those substances that are released from the body such as tears, sweat and breath, as well as other substances that we perceive through the sense of smell, such as those that come from our pets, our house plants, but also objects such as fabrics, furniture or candles, substances such as varnishes, toiletries, detergents and anything else that we may have at home.
Smell is a way in which the biology within us interacts with the biology around us. Even if you are alone right now in your room, the space around you affects and interacts with your inner self. This can be either the smell of a hot drink, the food being cooked, the faint smell coming from the window, or the aroma of an essential oil you use in your space. These are all stimuli that ‘wake up’ and activate centres of the brain, giving birth to a sequence of emotions, actions and vibrations.
In an absolute way, what we smell affects our thoughts and emotions, our energy levels as well as the way we perceive our lives in general.
Our entire nervous system, our hormones and our metabolism are modified every moment, by every substance we smell around us. And of course, the more natural and harmonious the substance we smell is, the more positive its effect on our body is.
Smell is very important for our body’s proper function
If you know me personally, you know that I often like to mention the following phenomenon that researcher Andrew Huberman, PhD, has studied about the importance of our olfactory system. The neurotransmitters of our olfactory system, thanks to which we detect every odour around us, are the only neurotransmitters in our entire body that are renewed every 3 weeks throughout our lives, aiming at always staying young.
This makes me wonder if our body, created with so much wisdom and working in perfect harmony, would so diligently maintain a sense if it were not of the utmost importance for the health of our entire existence.
Similar studies by Weizmann University neurobiology research team have also looked at the relationship between dopamine levels in our brain and the rate at which our olfactory cells regenerate. A relationship we may never have thought of.
But what does this mean in practice?
Some of our habits such as regular exercise, social interaction and our sexual activity affect dopamine levels in our body, which in turn increase the renewal of neurotransmitters in our olfactory bulb. This explains why we have heard of people taking antidepressant, which affects dopamine levels in the body, reporting greater sensitivity to odours after treatment.
The same thing happens when we are in a new relationship. Large amounts of dopamine are secreted in our body, as a result of which partners have a more sexual mood and can smell each other with great precision.
So, this bodily function is like an equation.
Dopamine, which is the hormone that regulates our motivation for life and affects phenomena such as depression, low libido, and even diseases such as Parkinson’s, is the same hormone that regulates the intensity of our olfactory capacity!
Is it not magical how everything in our body is interconnected in a single, perfect mechanism?
The even better news is that this is a two-way equation.
You can improve all areas of your life through smell.
This whole mechanism works vice versa too; this means that we have the amazing ability to influence many areas of our daily lives, and therefore our whole life through smell!
Remember that when you frequently smell natural, fragrant substances, dopamine levels rise in your brain, thus increasing joy and love for life.
So, next time you have the opportunity to smell a plant, your loved ones, or just the scent of your favourite food, remember the importance of the sense of smell, and use it consciously for a life full of joy and inspiration.