Scent is the strongest of the five senses. Officially called olfaction, the sense of smell is the strongest trigger for memory. Smelling a scent from thirty years ago, can bring back the memory instantly of the last time it was smelled. That's all down to the olfactory part of the brain be directly next to the memory portion. For other senses, they have to go through one extra step.
Childhood memories for me are triggered by fresh cut grass, roses (my grandmother spent hours pruning her's) and even burnt cookies.
During the pandemic, many people for the first time losing their sense of smell realized how important smell is to helping humans detect danger - is that food burning? Is there smoke? Has the wine corked? It plays a role in how we taste as well and who's attracted to us through pheromones.
When you take away one sense, such as sight, do you notice your sense of smell becomes stronger? That individual life experience can also heighten your senses.
I would be remiss not to include Michael Edwards' fragrance wheel when discussing this sense of smell, which does an excellent job of breaking down the categories of scent. When I initially do consults with clients, many think the are drawn to one specific category, only to find the end result to belong in the scent family opposite to where they expected to be. When I'm creating custom candle scents, after a consult, the samples arrive labeled A, B, C for a more pure reaction.
The scents used in Whiskey & Woof products are all selected to with specific feelings to evoke, such as comfort with the smell of maple bourbon in No. 4 Confidante or the blue spruce in No. 12 Bon Vivant, which clients often tell me they cannot be without. Sense of smell is very personal.
I might gravitate to citrus because I smell them more easily than sugar based scents like donuts, or use coconut wax because other waxes didn't perform on a scent level that did anything other than repel my sense of smell, which interprets them as mass produced and more chemical.
One of my favorite moments on Clubhouse this year, was speaking with legendary nose, Thierry Wasser of Guerlain. He was delightfully French and said that creating scent can be very lonely and to break the rules because scent is so personal. For his process, he has to make sure he is getting fragrances approved through many channels and that can take years. Fortunately for me, I have a lovely client base who is very vocal about preferences.
When subscription box client, Lady Box, ordered for their boxes, they were drawn to No. 16 Fira roll-on fragrance because not only does it refresh senses with energy, it can also wake up the lady parts. Scents can have multiple purposes.
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Founder of Whiskey & Woof
Smellosophy.com to learn more about smell from a research point of view.
Atelier Perfumes - famed perfumer Mandy Aftel's website
Fragrancesoftheworld.com - Michael Edwards, author of Perfume Legends ll