By Creezy Courtoy, IPF Founder and Chair,
Anthropologist, Historian and Olfaction Trainer
No Sense is More Important than the Olfactory Sense!
I really want you to understand that a perfume is not only a smell, it is much more than that and everyone should really know this before learning to become an olfaction trainer, an aromatherapist or a perfumer.
When you smell a perfume:
-going through your brain, it creates memories and sensations.
-it has an action on your nervous system, regulating organs.
-it is also a gas and what we breathe has immediate access to our blood. While penetrating through the thin membranes of our lungs, fragrances and perfumes reach the bloodstream much more quickly than the absorption of matter by the digestive tracts.
-it influences your hormonal system
-it acts on your organs through your nervous system
-in the bloodstream, it participates to the irrigation of your organs
-it can also modify your DNA and your cell's organization
Digestion and the breaking down of solids, like medicinal pills, take much more time reaching the bloodstream, as the absorbed solids must be digested and pass through the thick intestinal wall.
These are the reasons making a perfume or blending essential oils has responsibilities.
When you teach olfaction training, when you train yourselves, when you create natural perfumes or when you blend essential oils, always study the particularity of the oils. Do not use products without knowing their origins.
Olfaction can be dangerous. With essential oils, you can always find data and talk to the person in front of you.
With synthetic substances you have no historical data like we have for flowers and plants. Natural Perfumes are more expensive but it is worth to consider !
Perfume, by simple olfaction, sends messages to the nervous system, especially, to the area called "the big sympathetic" which plays a very important role in the maintenance of the health balance of humans.
The nervous system is the supreme organizer of matter, where life emanates. Its actions spread to all the organs where it regulates the different functions to achieve this harmonious whole that is the human body.
Besides, it assures the defense of the organism in protecting the body from external attacks.
”The big sympathetic” is made of a double chain of joint ganglia, situated at each side of the backbone. From these ganglia emerge many nerve connections terminating at the vegetative life organs: liver, spleen, lungs, heart, blood vessels, etc.
In some regions of the body nerves also form real networks, and insure the communication of the big sympathetic with the central nervous system.
The nervous system presides in exchanges, warns of failings, provides the various organ needs and rescues those that are threatened.
It directs the natural defenders: the white blood cells or leukocytes, also called phagocytes.
The stronger the microbial attack the stronger the defense.
Different conditions, by their suddenness or duration, can cause an abrupt disruption in the balance of the nervous system and also on the entire organism. A failing nervous system can occur in different ways: tiredness, insomnia, unaccustomed emotional stress, sudden weight loss, or an uncharacteristic tendency to exaggerate or discourage. If, at this moment, a bacterial attack occurs, the nervous system would not have the necessary strength to fight it.
Within the nervous system is the autonomic nervous system, which then contains the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
These two systems are involuntarily, meaning our body does not have control over what it is being performed.
The sympathetic nervous system is known as “fight-or-flight”, while parasympathetic is known as “rest and digest”.
Even though they are different, these systems still work hand in hand with one another to help control the way our body works.
Sympathetic is almost like an alarm clock, as it arouses the body and stimulates the nerves to start working. On the other hand, parasympathetic helps calm the body down, as it brings the body back to its normal state.
Natural essential oils can rebalance your nervous system, therefore it is important to learn aromatherapy and olfaction training before learning natural perfumery.
If you want to learn more about the importance of your olfactory sense, if you want to learn how to train, preserve or restore your olfactory sense, enrol for Creezy Courtoy's 8 weeks Olfaction Course.
Aromatic Journal of an Olfaction Trainer
by Maria Rodriguez Genna
One of the exercises during Creezy Courtoy’s olfactory training course was to be fully conscious of our sense of smell and to note our progression everyday. It was an interesting experience being purposely smelling everything to train my nose.
First day: What I recognized is the smell of skin. Clean skin, dirty skin, also my little daughter received a vaccine so I smelled her arm and I noticed a change in her natural scent, not long afterwards, but it was more noticeable the next day. On the street I smelled the salty air, the fresh green aroma of the trees, the gasoline obnoxious scents from the traffic.
Second day: I tried smelling ice, although it just smells like water, practically inodorous, the cool feeling has an effect on the nose. This cold scent is difficult to describe. It’s fresh, cold, sharp, almost metallic or even gassy like smelling nitrogen or helium. I didn’t go out for many days because my daughter became ill with fever for days due to the vaccine and I had to stay home to take care of her. So I did experiments with what I had around me at home, like laundry, cleaning items, medicines, etc.
Third day: I did a different exercise, I used imagery to recall or remember how a scent smelled. Like the sea and the beach, or for example amber notes, how a cake would smell,etc.
I also used images like paintings and tried to imagine how colors would relate to scents, for examples amber notes, the color already tells us of possibly resinous, heavy notes or even honeyed, white can be powdery, heady aromas, narcotic. So it was like trying to smell a painting.
Fourth day: I tried imagining what notes would have a perfume I’d like to create, and if they would harmonize. When I imagined the notes, the scents came to mind, like a faint sketch of a drawing, with colors and scents. I would need materia prima for experimenting with these notes and to corroborate if my imagination was correct and they are harmonious or not.
Fifth day: I quickly went to pick a package to the post office but with masks it’s difficult to smell much, only this cottony artificial scent it has, very unpleasant. They smell a lot like hospital sanitizer. It’s an interesting observation, how if we are very distracted with chores or if we go out but are thinking about something while we walk, we tend to lose the scents, because our attention is overpowered by thoughts and our other senses. This is something I’m trying to train myself to, because very easily my other senses overpower my nose, unless of course I close my eyes or try to consciously smell, with intention and full attention.
Last day: Noses can get accustomed to some smells, that is an observation.
I need to focus on something different for a few minutes, then I can revisit certain smells to be able to analyze them. My dry allergic nose doesn’t help either. So much pollen in the air, it can be smelled and it makes the throat and nose powdery and itchy. I will keep training because I’m very used to daily scents, that they disappear into the background. Usually opening a window helps, I notice it moves scents around and that makes my brain perceive them better.
I’m trying to train my nose to human skin odor. Just like I can recognize my little daughter’s natural skin scent, I’m trying to consciously remember or discreetly smell people close to me,to see if I can learn their unique aroma. It would be like taking an aromatic photograph to remember them. So far, I’m being successful with people that are very close to me.
The challenge is to smell different people and without them noticing -hahaha- but it’s an interesting anthropologic experiment. There’s someone I know, a really good friend, that smells incredibly good and it’s not perfume but natural scent. So all this research made by Creezy Courtoy about gorillas is starting to make sense, how they can recognize each other by scent, chose healthy future partners, etc. For someone in this field it is normal musings, but for the rest of the world it is politically incorrect so I have to be cautious if I will be training with human species. Gorillas would appreciate me getting to know them by scent much more!