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Wake Up and Smell the Scent Shop

When thinking of fashion, scents and perfumes may not readily come to mind.

However, boutiques that are focused on the aromatic are becoming a new trend in retail.

More than shopping for a fragrance and more than a design accessory, in addition to scented infusions smell shops are also selling an experience.

They summon people to filter in, take it slow and indulge a sense that may be overrun by not so pleasant fragrances that are encountered throughout the day. Things like vehicle emissions, chemicals and other pollutants are just a few of the not so enjoyable odors that we come across during the daily grind.

There are skin scents for many ailments, like stress and low energy, among others.

Smell shops offer an escape from the olfactory offensive, but research says that engaging in aromatic scents may also provide more. The world of fragrance merchandise is not just a bunch of pretty smells, but is actually quite a scientifically derived process. In depth examinations go into the understanding and marketing of what effect aromatics have on physiological and mental processes, as well as consumer preferences for scents and design concepts.

Wake Up and Smell the Scent Shop

Image source: Wikipedia.org,
from PLOS Computational Biology

Numerous studies have been done on the effects of scents.

For example, smells that are found to be pleasant have been shown to decrease the intensity of migraine headaches. Also, when investigating the effect of various scents on reaction times, jasmine was established to be advantageous to physical activity performance.

Further, fragrance has also been discovered to have an effect on weight loss, and may drastically aid the process. One study had 1,436 participants use food crystals, which were completely flavorless but were scented, on all of their meals for six months with no other changes to routines. The individual weights of the group using the crystals were compared to a control group after the established time period ended.

It was found that those using the scented granules lost on average, over 30 pounds each, while the individuals who received the placebo only lost around 2 pounds apiece.

Many clinical studies have found relaxing scents can decrease stress. One study also found that in addition to reducing stress responses pleasant odors can also considerably relax muscle tension.

No smell shop nearby?

No worries. Just have a favorite scent, either packaged or in its natural form, handy for when you need a quick smell fix. Smell shops may be selling scented happiness and stress reduction, but nature usually has a free alternative to a beloved bottled version. Vanilla beans or pure extract, lavender or other fragrant flowers, citrus and mints can be good smell staples. Some suggest keeping them around in places where stress can creep up, like at work for hectic days, being stuck in traffic or other mood changing situations.

The next time a pleasant scent wafts your way, pay attention to it for a second or two and see if it influences your attitude.

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