On the Pulse About Perfume

For most people in the world, dabbing on a spot of perfume or cologne in the mornings is a part their morning routine. Many of us have heard that maxim made famous by style icon Coco Chanel: “A woman should wear perfume wherever she wants to be kissed.”

Romanticism aside, the general consensus on this has been that perfume should be worn on the pulse points in order to lengthen the life of the perfume. However, Elizabeth Barrial, a perfumer at Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab in North Hollywood, California says:

The body heat generated by pulse points helps intensify fragrance, and can often diffuse, magnify and amplify a scent, but it won’t affect the longevity. Perfumes will generally be stronger on someone with oily skin and good circulation whose body runs a little hotter.”

For longevity, she suggests spritzing it in your hair.

Hair is great at retaining scents (both good and bad). Dr. Michael Roizen answers a question on the smell of smoke lingering in hair over at sharecare.com:

…your hair acts like a paper towel—it’s absorbent. And hair also often has a mild electric charge, particularly in very low humidity, and this can attract charged pollutant particles. So in a nutshell, your hair takes the stink from the air, and brings it home with you.

If you opt to go the hair route, make sure you only do this with clean hair, as About.com’s Catherine Helbig warns that “natural oils (and any lingering hair products) will affect the odor.”

Also, not all scents work for everyone. TLC Style’s Alia Hoyt advises to

carefully test each scent before making a public debut. Many physical factors, like body chemistry and skin type, can alter the impression of any fragrance, rapidly changing a soft, sweet scent into a sour or overpowering one.

And for those of you out there who like to spray scent onto your wrists and rub them together—don’t. From eHow Style:

Do not rub perfume into skin. Doing so will break down some of the molecular composition (or “bruise”) the perfume.

On a similar note, some perfumes can stain clothing, it is recommended that you apply fragrances before dressing.

Go forth and eliminate B.O!

Is there a benefit to applying fragrance to pulse points?
Why does my hair smell like smoke after being around smokers?
How and Where to Apply Perfume to Make It Last Longer
Why Do You Put Fragrances on Your Pulse Points

Smelling Calmness: Aromatherapy and Essential Oils

These days, the nose is getting a lot of attention. Well, more than noses have typically gotten in the past. Nasal irrigation is a thing, for example.

The more we study the nose and our olfactory senses, the more we find that links them to memories. There are several theories floating around the science community about why smells elicit such strong emotional responses. Jonah Lehrer of ScienceBlogs postulates in his article, “Smell and Memory”:

One possibility, which is supported by this recent experiment, is that the olfactory cortex has a direct neural link to the hippocampus. In contrast, all of our other senses (sight, touch and hearing) are first processed somewhere else – they go to the thalamus – and only then make their way to our memory center.

Aromatherapy is an alternative medicine that has been gaining popularity in the margins. Bear in mind that just because it’s categorized under something labeled “medicine” doesn’t mean it’s going to cure something. In fact, aromatherapy is most used to aid relaxation and center the mind and body, usually through essential oils.

Essential oils are “A natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted” (Google Dictionary).

Lavendar is probably the best-known essential oil. It tops Self.com’s list of 6 Essential Oils and What They Do Pro Tip, ladies: according to Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder and neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago:

Studies reveal that the number one odor that enhances male sexual arousal is a combination of lavender and … pumpkin pie!

Different essential oils have different properties. Here’s a list of many along with their properites.

A few important things to remember when experimenting with essential oils is that they are NOT to be used straight. They should be diluted with a carrier oil (olive, coconut and jojoba oils are a few examples) or diffused in a diffuser. Cinnamon oil would burn if it made direct contact with skin because it is one of those that is very potent.

Also, fragrance oils and essential oils are NOT the same thing. Fragrance oils have a larger range of scents because they are synthetically produced. These do not have the healing/centering/aromatherapeutic properties that true, 100% pure essential oils do. When purchasing oils for therapeutic and medicinal reasons make sure they are 100% pure. Amazon is a good place to test the waters with a sampler kit.

SinuCleanse Demonstration on Oprah

Smell and Memory

Google Dictionary: essential oils

6 Essential Oils and What They Do

Essential Oils Directory