A wealth of studies have connected aromatherapy to mental health benefits. New research is underway to test the theory that fragrance could potentially cure depression. In this article, we investigate this idea.
The Release Of Body Odor
There’s no doubt that our body releases scents that we can’t smell. They are odourless for us, but we’ve used the terms like ‘Wolves or dogs can smell fear.’ Our body produces various scents that are odourless to us but still impact the surrounding. These are released when you’re happy or afraid. These scents can significantly impact a social setting.
Enzo Pasquale Scilingo of the Department of Information Engineering, University of Pisa, Italy, has called these scents emotional contagion. If you release these hormones, others will also feel the influence. Similarly, there’s a smell of happiness.
The objective behind this new bottle scent isn’t to cure mental illnesses like depression. That would be a bit too promising. But, it could significantly help people lead a better life.
A Hints Of Sweat
Professor Scilingo is currently working on a project named ‘POTION’ which focuses on studying these odourless scents and chemosignals. Sweat will play a vital role in analysing the chemical compounds released when the subject experiences different emotions. It will work as a gateway to possibly synthesise the odours to trigger various emotions in a person.
People’s emotions play an essential role in helping them determine whether to interact with others or not. Prof. Scilingo believes that studying sweat can lead to unravelling some answers.
The Mammalian Archetypes
The sense of smell is an integral part of mammals for memories, emotions and other similar intangible aspects. Dr Lisa Roux from Interdisciplinary Institute for Neuroscience in France sheds some light on the topic. According to her, mothers can recognise their children with the help of the sense of smell. So, recognition is based on senses.
According to Dr Lisa, our olfactory bulb is connected to the limbic system. The olfactory bulb is responsible for processing chemosignals. Meanwhile, the limbic system helps us identify people, form memories, and manage the emotional side of our personality.
The olfactory bulb is responsible for processing all of our senses, and that’s where the sense of smell plays a vital role.
The Smell And Depression Relations
A research paper on Olfactory disorders and quality of life provides invaluable insights on the connection between the sense of smell and depression. According to the paper, people with an impaired sense of smell suffer from depression or similar symptoms more than those without a defective sense of smell.
The Mice Identity
We all know that we share quite a similar DNA with the Mice. Ego, Dr Roux conducted experiments on mice to study how the brain process chemosignals. It turned out that smell plays a vital role in the nature of mice, mammals and animals. Whether it be identifying threats, marking territories, identifying individuals, or stimulating emotions, the scent is indispensable.
The collaborative research and studies could open a new frontier for us when we get that ‘bottle of happiness’ in the form of scent.