03 Oct 2018

Discover ‘the fallen angel of the senses’…

The Perfume Society
Helen Keller once called it the ‘fallen angel of our senses’ – because now that we no longer need it to detect the approach of a sabre-toothed tiger, or gather our food from the wild, our sense of smell has dramatically lost its natural power. But it’s truly possible to reverse that and, by enhancing your ability to smell, to then revel in the extraordinary health benefits and everyday delights this new super-power brings. 

At The Perfume Society, we’re privileged to have access to the world’s top perfumers [fun fact: there are fewer Master Perfumers than there are people who’ve walked on the moon!] and always ask them how they train, and how they’d suggest we improve our own sense of smell. Unlike a professional ‘nose’ – who must obtain a degree in chemistry before they even begin years of rigorous training in perfumery school – we don’t need to memorise thousands of minutely different scents and their infinite combinations. There are simple but highly effective techniques we’ve gathered over the years from these professionals, and once you’ve got into the habit of exploring them, it genuinely changes your life for the better! But how can this be? Surely everyone can smell if something’s nice or not, and that’s all that matters…?

Well. Consider this for a moment. Have you ever had a cold that’s left you not only feeling generally ‘blah’ but also meant all food tasted bland? Now imagine if all your favourite meals, the scent of your loved ones, being able to detect if something’s burning or if you need to add more deodorant, the smell of home and that invisible means of navigating your neighbourhood… were all lost to you, forever. More than simply being annoying, people who’ve had their sense of smell impaired (through illness, medication or head trauma) report high levels of depression and isolation. Moreover, scientists have recently discovered a loss of smell is one of the earliest symptoms of some types of Alzheimers disease and Dementia. And thanks to modern technology like MRI scanners, we’re only just beginning to understand just how vital our sense of smell really is.

Most of us have probably had an experience of passing someone in the street wearing a fragrance our mother wore – or an ex lover, friend or somebody really special to us – and suddenly being rooted to the spot as we practically time-travel to a particular memory that washes over us, as if we’re right there in the moment, as if they are standing right in front of us. Smell is the most direct connection to memory – above all the other senses combined – because the olfactory bulb (which starts inside the nose and runs along the bottom of the brain) is directly wired to two brain areas that control emotion and memory: the amygdala and hippocampus. This means that, whether you consciously realise it or not, every smell you’ve ever experienced is filed away inside you, and it’s entirely personal to you. Now think about how exciting it would be to unlock that treasure trove, or directly link a smell to a memory whenever you wanted…

Do you have a hatred of certain smells with no rational reason why, or always smile when you smell a particular scent or fragrant ingredient? That’s your secret ‘smell memory’ filing system at work right there! Scientific studies have now proved that smelling rosemary, for example, genuinely helps you recall information more accurately at a later date – something for the new influx of university students to consider having in an oil burner while revising, perhaps! They’re also discovering that smell can be used to relax, revive and restore us, and to make every day a more fragrant experience.

We’re excited to share these techniques with you during our workshops at the Live Well London 2019 – so are you ready to unlock your hidden powers?

Grab your early bird ticket for Live Well London by visiting www.livewelllondon.com/whats-on/tickets

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