During my 25 plus years as a fragrance developer, I have always been aware of the power of scent and how it could improve the lives of people through emotional and psychological connections. I once worked at one of the largest globally-recognized fragrance supply houses in the world where one of our R&D scientists who has a doctorate in psychology developed a methodology for testing scents and their correlation to mood and well-being. In his testing, the center would bring in consumers from the area to blind sniff various formulations and would answer a questionnaire on how each scent made them feel. Statistical Analysis were performed after a sampling was gathered and reports were given to the developers like me, so we were informed of what scents could be marketed as stimulating, refreshing, calming and uplifting. From this testing, successful fragrances such as Clinque's "Happy" were marketed.
I believe, and will advocate for the fragrance industry in its use of mold mapping and Aromacology, because there is enough scientific evidence showing the effects scents can have on memory, mood and physical well-being. There is a growing need for people to feel de-stressed, and calm while we continue to live in a changing, challenging and tumultuous world. To help support this, I found an on-line article published by the American Institute of Stress that a 2017 study by the American Psychological Association shows that American adults are experiencing more stress versus 2014: In this study, 63% of of subjects in the test are feeling stressed about the future of our nation, followed by money (62%) work (61%), the political climate (57%) and 51% by violence and crime. Neither the future of our nation, political climate, nor violence or crime appeared as a cause to stress in their 2014 study. I can assure you, that I was not part of this study, but feel the same stress, and know that with exercise and a turning off social media helps me keep my feet and mind grounded, I also look to scent to uplift me.
You may be aware that there are some NGOs and "Indie Beauty" companies who have lead some very compelling campaigns against the fragrance industry's use of synthetics in fragrance formulas, but I say that there are two sides to the coin. Broad statements can be dangerous and misleading. For instance, those who only believe in naturals do not tell you that naturals have allergens. Yes....natural essential oils have allergens. Furthermore, most responsible companies have long abandoned animal testing and the use of animal bi-products for quite some time, and no longer use parabens, phthalates or sulfates. I can also assure you that the scientists who create new synthetics for perfumers go through rigorous testing and regulatory reviews to be able to commercialize these synthetics, and that they absolutely do have the health of consumers in mind. To put this in perspective: Lily of the Valley cannot be reconstituted in a scent without synthetics. There is no such thing as an essential oil from Lily of the Valley which is one of the most invigorating and happy aromas out there because it connects us to the beginning of Spring...the reawakening of natural things and uplifting the senses after a season of short days and cold weather.