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Aromachology is the study of the influence of odors on human behavior and to examine the relationship between feelings and emotions such as relaxation, exhilaration, sensuality, happiness and well-being brought about by odors stimulating the olfactory pathways in the brain and, in particular, the limbic system. Different wearers are thought to have unique physiological and psychological responses to scents, especially those not manufactured synthetically but based on real scents. The word "aromachology" is derived from "aroma" and "physio-psychology", the latter being the study of aroma. This term was coined in 1989 by what is now the Sense of Smell Institute (SSI), a division of The Fragrance Foundation. The SSI defines aromachology as 'a concept based on systematic, scientific data collected under controlled conditions'.
Although certain plants are known through studies in aromatherapy to have stimulating or relaxing effects, research on wider scopes of application for therapeutic purposes are still at an early stage. Aromachology devotees want to find out how psychological effects are transmitted from scent to the brain, as well as how positive behavioral effects can be induced by scent. Maria Lis-Bachin, author of Aromatherapy Science: a Guide for Healthcare Professionals, notes an overlap between the objectives of aromatherapy and those of aromachology. However, despite this apparent overlapping, academic authors believe that they are distinct branches of research and application, with each having its own research methods and directions.
From the point of view of creating a scent for the body, a number of aromachology practitioners and small companies interested in aromachology are focused on creating bespoke perfumes for individuals who are less interested in purchasing the same fragrances that every other person is wearing and more inclined to wearing a perfume tailored precisely to their own preferences, memories and scent matches. Some cosmetic brands such as Shiseido and Décléor are devoting substantial efforts to the task of finding out the beneficial properties of aromas on our sense of well-being and health. Shiseido currently has a skincare line called "The Skincare" that uses aromachology in their products.
Broader applications for aromachology are found in industries that introduce scent into products other than cosmetics or perfumes. Aromachology is considered to also encompass scents introduced to home fragrances, textiles, drawer liners and odor reducers for the home environment.
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