Amy lost her sense of smell due to COVID19 in 2020 and her boyfriend, who I know from my employment at Coty contacted me because he saw my Facebook page announcing I expanded the uses of Essential Awakenings® and MindScent® sensory kits for smell training. Being the first company in the world offering a complete Smell Training Kit was daunting, and I knew I had to create an educational guideline for consumers to help better understand this relatively unknown condition called "anosmia", I contacted neuroscientist Dr. Rachel Herz who I had met several times during my decades-long career to develop an Essential Awakenings® Smell Training Guide.
Anosmia (lost sense of smell) can occur from viruses, as well as head trauma, such as accidents and aneurysms. Several SLPs and OTs I've met at ASHA (Speech & Audiologists) & AOTA (for Occupational Therapists) conferences had also suggested I extend the uses for my sensory kits for coma therapy.
The mission for The Scent Guru Group has always been to help people through the use of scent, and I will continue to stay on path. Below are points to consider as published by IFRA, the global representative of the fragrance industry promoting the safe use of fragrance with links to their website as well as to the NIH page dedicated the sense of smell and taste:
1. Memory and emotions: Fragrances have a powerful ability to evoke memories and trigger emotions. Certain scents can transport us back in time, reminding us of specific people, places, or experiences. They can evoke feelings of joy, nostalgia, comfort, or relaxation. Fragrances can have a profound impact on our mood and emotional well-being.
2. Sense of identity: Fragrances can be a form of self-expression and help shape our personal identity. Many people have a signature scent or a preferred fragrance that they wear, which becomes associated with their presence. The fragrance we choose to wear can reflect our personality, style, and even cultural or social affiliations.
3. Aesthetic pleasure: Fragrances can be aesthetically pleasing and enhance our sensory experiences. Pleasant smells can create a positive environment, whether it's the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, blooming flowers, or a scented candle. Fragrances add depth and richness to our surroundings, making them more enjoyable and inviting.
4. Sensory enjoyment: Our sense of smell is closely linked to our sense of taste. Fragrances contribute to the overall experience of food and beverages by adding an additional layer of sensory pleasure. The aroma of a delicious meal or a flavorful drink can greatly enhance our enjoyment and satisfaction.
5. Environmental cues: Fragrances can serve as environmental cues and provide information about our surroundings. For example, we often associate certain smells with specific locations or situations. The smell of freshly cut grass may indicate the presence of a park, while the scent of chlorine can signify a swimming pool. Fragrances help us navigate and make sense of our environment.
6. Personal well-being: Fragrances are also used for their potential therapeutic benefits. Aromatherapy, for instance, utilizes essential oils and their scents to promote relaxation, reduce stress, improve sleep, or provide a sense of calm. Certain fragrances are believed to have mood-enhancing or energizing effects, contributing to our overall wellbeing.
Overall, fragrances are essential to us because they have the power to evoke emotions, enhance our sensory experiences, shape our identity, and provide us with aesthetic pleasure. The sense of smell is deeply intertwined with our memories, emotions, and perceptions, making fragrances an integral part of our daily lives.
Finally, start a practice for what I call mindful smelling, and the nature of your world will surely expand!
**Note: The official Essential Awakenings® Smell Training Guide was originally complimentary with the purchase Essential Awakenings® but is now available for purchase separately.