What is Aromachology?
Picture yourself in a crowded shopping mall. As you wander between the stores, your five senses are in overdrive — and that includes your nose. Maybe it’s the piped-in scent of chocolate chip cookies wafting in the air, encouraging you to pop by the bakery and grab a few. Maybe it’s a store’s signature cologne, one you loved in high school, blaring through their speakers and enticing you to buy a T-shirt for old times’ sake, or the light, calm and clean fragrance of a department store’s home section. This isn’t just fun and games; this is science at work, and aromachology to be exact.
Aromachology is not aromatherapy. Think of the two as cousins, not twins. Both are a frequent part of your day-to-day life, even when you don’t recognize it, and impact your behavior in different ways.
What is aromachology?
Aromachology is the study of scents and how smelling something — a laundry detergent, a partner’s T-shirt, a hotel candle, a beloved fragrance — triggers a response in human behavior and emotions. Aromachology is all about figuring out why our brains and bodies respond a certain way to a scent. Do you get misty when you smell your grandma’s signature scent? Does the scent of an ex-boyfriend’s cologne cause a knee-jerk negative reaction or instant “ugh?” That’s aromachology. Aromachologists want to know what is causing these reactions and how scent impacts your brain and thus, your physiological and emotional responses to said scents.
What’s the difference between aromachology and aromatherapy?
Aromachology is how you respond emotionally to a fragrance, while aromatherapy is a healing practice based upon essential oils from plants. Aromatherapy uses aroma to help you relax, sleep, wake up and more, while aromachology is the study of why you feel that way. While aromatherapy has been around for centuries, aromachology is a relatively new practice, officially defined in 1989.
How is aromachology used?
Aromachology findings are used in a few different ways, but most recently, they’ve informed what is called scent marketing — companies using fragrance to create a world or to subtly influence their customer into a desired behavior, like the aforementioned cookie scent at the mall. Some brands use scent to help develop their brand identity so that when you encounter that aroma, you’re instantly (and hopefully positively) reminded of them, like upscale hotels burning a specific candle … and maybe even selling that candle so you can pick one up before you check out.
Can I practice aromachology in my daily life?
Well, sort of. Technically aromachology is a scientific practice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a closer look at the way you respond to scents throughout the day. Does the smell of lemon make you feel invigorated and ready to scrub the kitchen? Does spritzing lavender around the office help diffuse a tense meeting? Does a jasmine hand lotion before bed help you get to sleep? These are all excellent examples of how scent triggers a specific reaction or impulse, not to mention a powerful reminder of how important scent can be.
Looking for more information on fragrance information? Read more below:
- The Art of Layering Perfume
- Perfume Dictionary: Fragrance Terms A-Z
- How To Spot Fake Perfume: 14 Ways To Determine Whether A Perfume Is Authentic
- Your Fragrance Wheel and Scent Families Guide
- What is Eau de Toilette & Eau de Parfum How Does it Compare to Other Fragrances?
- What is a Niche Fragrance?
- What is a Perfume Atomizer and Why You Need One in Your Bag
- What is Scent-scaping? Here’s How to Do It
- How To Refill Perfume Bottles Successfully
- How to Smell Good: 18 Ways to Smell Fresh All Day
- Where to Spray Perfume
- How to Apply Cologne: A Man’s Guide to Fragrance Usage
- How to Store Perfume: 15 Ways to Help Your Fragrance Last Longer
- How to Get Perfume Out of Clothes: 6 Methods to Try
- How To Ship Perfume in the Mail
- Can You Bring Cologne & Perfume On a Plane?
- How To Create An Indoor Aromatic Garden Using Fragrant Herbs
- Perfume Etiquette: The Right and Wrong Ways to Wear and Store Perfume
- What is Sillage + 10 Other Fragrance Terms You Should Know
- What Is Aftershave and Why Do You Need It?
- Your Comprehensive “How-To” for Building a Fragrance Wardrobe
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