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Smell and feelings

Olfactothérapy

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A brief history

Out of all the senses, scientists focus on smell the least because it is so complex. Yet it is at least as important as the other senses if not more so.

Smell ties in memory, feeling and the physical act of smelling. Smell triggers emotions that are often associated with a stored memory. Words to express and make sense of that experience often come later.

Smell is the only sense in which receptors renew themselves each month throughout our entire lives. As such, “Noses” (wine experts, perfumers, etc) don’t get an overdeveloped sense of smell. They just need to exercise their sense of smell every day so that they can remember as many smells as possible and tell them apart.

Did you know?

Women have a better sense of smell than men. According to a group of Brazilian researchers, women’s olfactory bulbs have an average of 43% more cells than their male counterparts. The olfactory bulb is an extension of the brain that receives signals emitted by the olfactory receptors. Observing the structure of the olfactory bulb, researchers believe that the number of neurones in the olfactory bulb determines how developed a person’s sense of smell is.

How smell acts as a link between essential oils and emotions: Olfactothérapie® ?

Gilles Fournil invented Olfactothérapie® in 1992. It is a psycho-emotional method which uses certain essential oils to create an impact on feelings, free up blocks linked to past events and restore emotional balance in the present.

Olfactothérapie® works by creating a direct link between the olfactory message and the emotional centre located in the limbic system. This elicits an emotional memory linked to the past.

Essential oils are created by distilling a range of plant parts (flowers, leaves, roots) with steam. The resulting essence has a very high concentration of active ingredients. Each essential oil has its own aroma. This is powerful olfactory information, which the olfactory system then decodes and references against all of the other smells we have encountered throughout our lives. This prompts action in terms of behaviour or feelings.


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