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The Psychology of Scent: Which Fragrance Oils Should You Use?

  • 6 min read

The sense of smell is one of the most important senses in humans. It can trigger emotions and memories, and it plays a role in our physical and mental health. When we smell something, the molecules travel through the nose and bind to receptors in the brain. This triggers a response in the limbic system, which is responsible for emotion, memory, behaviour, working capacity, mood and stress.

Several scientific studies have been conducted in the last few years trying to understand the effect of aroma inhalation on certain human brain functions. These studies suggest that olfactory stimulation can alter a person’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. 

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What Is the Science Between Fragrance and Mood and Why Is It Important?

The psychology of scent establishes the relationship of our sense of smell with all our other senses, along with our capacity to preserve vivid and detailed memories. Studies have shown that fetuses develop their sense of smell long before they are born (scent receptors are well formed by the second trimester), so it’s one of the senses that give them initial perception of the world outside.

A good demonstration of this concept is how we don’t remember a lot of things during childhood, but we remember how our parents smell whenever we hugged them or how the house smells amazing during the holidays because of all the good food being cooked or baked. Or how pine trees smell like Christmas morning and how certain scents give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside.

This is solid proof that our sense of smell plays a crucial role in identity formation, core memory retention, and long-term storage of memories attached to certain aromas.

The Proust Phenomenon

This phenomenon refers to an event where a certain smell triggers a memory, some of which are very old yet still highly vivid. It’s the same phenomenon responsible for you getting transported to your childhood home when you smell freshly baked goods or how whiteboard markers remind you of school.

The complex structures of the brain process scents and bind them with memories which results in the nostalgic experience that comes with certain smells. Now that you know the science behind scents and your memories, let’s apply it to the real world.

What Questions Should You Ask Your Fragrance Oil Supplier?

Now that you understand the power that perfume scents hold, you can start using this information to your advantage. As a product manufacturer, you can tap into a person’s mood or memories using fragrant oils not just to ensure more sales, but to also make sure your customers will enjoy your products. Of course, you have to be very critical when choosing which fragrance manufacturer to work with in Australia. You need to make sure they’re reliable when it comes to supplying you with fragrance oils you can incorporate into your products.

To make sure you’re getting nothing but the best, make sure you ask these questions:

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Where do your fragrance oils come from?

It’s important to know the source of fragrance oils and whether the manufacturer can supply you with the quantity you need consistently in the long run. When customers like a certain fragrance, they usually come back for the same product over and over again. You don’t want to disappoint your buyers by having a certain item unavailable just because your supplier can’t deliver the fragrance oils you need.

What is your fragrance oil's shelf life?

All fragrance oils have a shelf life, but it varies according to the type of fragrance and how it was formulated. The best fragrance oils strike a good balance between longevity and quality. You want to be able to store them for a long time without compromising the quality.

Can your fragrance oils be stored anywhere?

Some fragrance oil products need special storage or they will go bad sooner. The more delicate the oils are, the more accommodations you have to make to ensure that they stay in good condition. This might cost you money, which will inevitably increase the price of your products. If you want to offer affordable options to your buyers, this is one of the things you need to consider.

Do you offer products at wholesale prices?

Not all manufacturers of wholesale fragrance oils in Australia offer their products at a cheaper price when bought in bulk. From a financial perspective, it’s smarter to find one that offers oils at wholesale prices. This will allow you to also offer your products at lower prices, which should encourage your customers to buy from you.

Are your fragrance oils compatible with other oils?

As a scented product manufacturer, it’s normal for you to want to experiment with various scent blends. However, not all fragrance oils are designed to be mixed together, for several reasons. Some mixes can produce a disagreeable odour, while others can produce an outright pungent smell that will take days to remove.

But more so than the bad smell, some oils should not be mixed for health reasons. For instance, mixing several citrus oils from lemons, limes, or oranges can result in photo toxicity. This means that if you use too much and too many citrus oils in soaps, lotions, or creams, the person using the product is more likely to get a bad case of sun burn if exposed to natural sunlight or even in tanning beds.

So before bulk buying from a supplier, ask them which oils are designed for mixing and if they can provide you with a guide on how to properly combine their oils.

Once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time to decide on which oils to buy. Here’s a short guide you can use when taking your pick.

Which Fragrance Oils Should You Use on Your Products?

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Sandalwood

Some sandalwood essential oils, including Australian sandalwood, have been found to reduce blood pressure and lower heart rate, as well as the amount of stress people feel. This can help individuals with recovering swiftly after a stressful event.

Bergamot

Bergamot oil is used to reduce anxiety, mood disorders, pain, heart rate and blood pressure. It also helps improve mental health and create a sense of wellbeing.

Coriander

Coriander oil has been found to display significant anxiolytic and antidepressant effects, and to decrease glutathione levels in the brain's hippocampus. This helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.

Some studies showed that multiple exposures to coriander oil can be effective when battling depression, anxiety, as well as stress in Alzheimer's patients.

Sage

Clary sage oil has been shown to have anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. The anti-depressive effect of clary sage oil is closely related to its ability to modulate the dopaminergic pathway.

Rose

Rose oil and other extracts from the Rosaceae family are rich in natural molecules that have many beneficial properties. These molecules help with things like relaxation, sexual dysfunction, and reducing blood pressure.

Ylang Ylang

Ylang ylang oil has been used for centuries to lower blood pressure and improve cognitive function. The oil has also been shown to have anxiety-relieving effects. Researchers believe that the oil's major constituent, benzyl benzoate, affects the body's serotonin and dopamine pathways.

Vanilla 

Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) and its key constituent vanillin have been shown to relieve depressive symptoms by affecting monoamine neurotransmitters in the brain. This in turn increases serotonin and dopamine levels in brain tissue. Studies have found that chronic vanillin aromatherapy can reverse depression-like behaviors, and that vanilla essential oil may be used to treat major depressive disorder.

What Scented Products Can You Incorporate Fragrance Oils Into?

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There are so many ways to enjoy fragrance oils! Here’s a short list of scented products that you can explore, aside from the items you already make:

Lotions and Creams

Fragrance oils can be added to just about any lotion or cream. Simply add a few drops to the product during the manufacturing process.

Diffusers

Fragrance oil enthusiasts never buy one type of oil at a time. So the more options you give them, the more likely they are to make you their go-to oil seller.

Perfumes

Not just for humans, but also for pets. Perfumes make a lucrative business, although it may take more training for you to master how to harness the unique qualities of fragrance oils .

Soaps

Like perfumes, you can make scented soaps for humans and animals. Ideally, you would want to use oils that leave a fresh and clean smell behind.

Candles

Scented candles are perfect for setting the perfect ambience and for relaxing. For candles, you can make them with oils that have a calming effect.

Get Your Fragrance Oils From a Trusted Supplier

Now that you know how to use f ragrance oils to create scented products and make them more appealing to your customers, it’s time to find a supplier you can trust. Check out Flaire’s website to see our unique line of fragrance oils today.

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