Aug 16, 2023 | 3 min Read

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.

Aromachology vs Aromatherapy infographic


Looking for more information on fragrance information? Read more below:

image of Kara Nesvig
Kara Nesvig

Kara Nesvig is a freelance writer based in St. Paul, MN. She’s been obsessed with fragrance since she was four years old and has a (constantly growing) collection of more than 75 scents. Kara writes for a variety of brands and publications including Allure, Teen Vogue, Byrdie and People.

More Articles from this Author
image of Kara Nesvig
Kara Nesvig

Kara Nesvig is a freelance writer based in St. Paul, MN. She’s been obsessed with fragrance since she was four years old and has a (constantly growing) collection of more than 75 scents. Kara writes for a variety of brands and publications including Allure, Teen Vogue, Byrdie and People.

More Articles from this Author

Related Posts

Best Marine Fragrances
Jun 4, 2024 | 3 min Read

Best Marine Fragrances

  What are marine fragrances and why are they so great during the summer? Marine fragrances often...

Best Perfume Gifts For Mother's Day
May 1, 2024 | 4 min Read

10 Best Perfume Gifts for Mother’s Day 2024

  Mother’s Day is Sunday May 12th. If it was up to us, Mother’s Day should be...

Apr 3, 2024 | 3 min Read

 Best Cherry Blossom Perfumes

The  scent of the cherry blossom has inspired people, spring after spring, for centuries. Throughout the world,...

Copyright © 2001 – 2024 FragranceX.com. All Rights Reserved