Scent Chemistry in Our Nature

Scents are everywhere around us, it surrounds us and is curated by nature. Therefore, we are here to explore the scent chemistry in our nature that inspires many of Scent Australia Home’s essential oil, reed diffusers and many of our fragrance packs.

    The aroma of cacao, coffee, flowers and figs, and many natural products have produced unique smells that have drawn our attention and created a powerful aroma surrounding nature stimulates. Here we are inspecting the scent chemistry in the environment that is surrounding us.

    How do we smell?

For many years, scientists have been curious about how we smell molecules. For us to be able to smell, the molecules must vaporise, either through evaporation in the case of a liquid or sublimation in the case of a solid (eg menthol or camphor). The scent molecules are small molecules, molecules that can be smelt must also be lipophilic and have some water solubility.

As molecules travel up the nose, they reach the olfactory epithelium, a 3-4 cm 2 region of tissue near the top of each nostril. The volatile molecules interact with odour receptors, which are covered in mucus-coated hairs called cilia.

The molecules dissolve in the mucus (and thus must be water-soluble) and are transported to the receptors by specific 'transport' proteins. Your sense of smell is impaired when you have a cold because molecules cannot reach the smell receptors.

    How impactful scent can be on your memory?

When you see, hear, touch, or taste something, the sensory information first travels to the thalamus, which is a relay station for your brain. The thalamus then sends that information to the appropriate brain areas, such as the hippocampus, which is in charge of memory, and the amygdala, which is in charge of emotional processing.

But it's not the same with smells. Scents bypass the thalamus and travel directly to the brain's smell centre, the olfactory bulb. The olfactory bulb is directly connected to the amygdala and hippocampus, explaining why smelling something can instantly trigger a detailed memory or even intense emotion.

There was a study from 2017 that discovered that your brain's smell centre communicates directly with its memory centre, but it also stores long-term memories. This is the reason that a certain fragrance oil or a familiar scent can take you back to your childhood. The memories that flood back to you are a happy byproduct of how your brain is wired.

Scent has a significant role in your life, it is something that we have not taken into consideration as much as we should. The smell also plays an important role in nature, it is everywhere - from the soil, and flowers to the trees around us.

Nature has inspired Scent Australia Home to integrate natural fragrance into our diffuser oil and essential oils to produce a high-quality concentration of your favourite scent to bring you the best memories wherever you are. You can check out our website to find out more about the Scent collections