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The Scent of a person

By Vinitha George

Do you remember a person through his clothes or his smell? The latter seem to be a common answer. Let us face it – the nose knows. Fragrance seems to help anchor our memories, helping us to recall events and people of long ago. What exactly is the reason for this? How do different fragrances affect our olfactory system?

“Essential oils stimulate smell receptors of our olfactory system. The sense of smell is an interrelated aspect of the limbic system-an area of the brain that is primarily concerned with emotion and memory. Hence the reason why essential oils can uplift the spirit and make us feel better,“ says Dr. Maria Khattar from Lifestyle pharmacy. Well, if you think that is too much to contain, its simple as this – Scents alter your moods.

Some scents make you feel stimulated and alert, others make you feel relaxed and comforted, and a third ‘boost' you up.
Know each fragrance,
Stimulating effect: rosemary, peppermint, bergamot, and grapefruit.
Relaxing scents: lavender, marjoram, jasmine, rose, geranium, and chamomile.
Uplifting scents: Orange, tangerine, lemon, fir, spruce, pine, cedar, and rosewood
Aphrodisiacs (the scents which have a sensual effect): ylang ylang, clary sage, rose, jasmine, cinnamon, and neroli.

‘Perfume' is derived from the Latin word ‘per fume', which means "through smoke.” Thousands of years ago, people burned fragrant plants and woods during religious ceremonies as an offering to gods and goddesses. People of all cultures have been using scent to make them feel good and to treat what ailed them. The ancient Egyptians were among the first to use fragrant resins and woods in the embalming process as a ritual to prepare the dead for their journey in the after life.

Today, perfumes are expressions of one's personality, taste, and individuality.

Are you bewildered at the beauty counter when trying to select a fragrance? Does the elegant packaging, brand name and price affects your decision? The simple way to see if a particular fragrance suits you is by applying the fragrance in moderate quantities to one of your pulse points (wrist, behind the ear) and waiting 15 minutes for the perfume to settle in your skin. Observe the aroma and determine if the scent appeals to you.

Watch this space for more tips on cosmetics. Till then, Spread the fragrance!

Personal Care (Previous Features)

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