Fragrances and aromas have been part of our lives since time immemorial, spanning continents and civilisations. A quick glance through the world’s history and mythology will show us the role of perfumes, incense, and aromatic scents in the lives of ancient Indians, Egyptians, Chinese, Arabs, French, Greeks, etc., ranging from sandalwood, jasmine, roses, and musk to myrrh, frankincense and perfumed oils and water, largely to bind man to spirituality, cleansing the air, decorations and invoking the senses.
Mr. Arjun Ranga, Managing Director, Cycle Pure Agarbathi shared with HerZindagi that "Vedic texts, mythologies, and various religious scriptures often mention the use of fragrances, oils, and perfumes in prayer, meditation, and invoking the divine. As far as Indians are concerned, their preference for aromatic incenses, myrrh, sambrani or benzoin, resins, and oils for their household rituals was driven by community-specific traditions and time-tested merits."
Mr. Ranga shared that "We have conventionally used sandalwood, patchouli, jasmine, and rose in our homes and places of religious worship. The Hindus use agarbathis, special pastes, and powders for worshipping the idols of their deities, Muslims choose blends of roses and ‘oud’ in their worship, and musk is favoured by Zoroastrians."
Speaking on the new varieties that have come up in the Indian market, he shared that they are "inspired by traditions and the Middle East, floral and woody fragrances have remained eternal trends. But with the industry gaining access to new materials and ingredients in the last 20 years, it has seen great innovation in fragrances."
"From developing fruity and spice scents to aqua fragrances, the industry players have taken a cue from the perfume and food industries and developed fragrances like berries, cocoa, coffee, nutmeg, etc.
A number of fragrances trending today are influnced by "social and contemporary subjects,"
Mr. Ranga shared that " especially among the youth who try fragrances like French lavender, amber rose, ylang ylang, lemongrass, mandarin, etc. and have opened up to using reed diffusers, potpourri, fragrance sachets, and pillow misters.”
Each fragrance has a distinct effect on a person’s mind; the various herbs, roots, leaves, and flowers offered by nature have their unique values. Among the five senses, the sense of smell is often overshadowed by sight and touch, but, our olfactory awareness can significantly help us with our daily routine, emotions, health, and productivity.
A good-smelling cup of coffee can take us back in time. Lavender oil, for instance, is a mood stabiliser and helps one cope with anxiety, while rose improves memory and induces sleep. If you find that perfume or an aroma oil makes you feel happy and amazing every time you use it, your mind will train you to emotionally connect to that fragrance and boost your self-confidence every time you wear it.
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Apart from positively impacting one’s mind, he adds that fragrances are good to spruce up your workspace, purifies the ambiance at home or outside, and enhances the experience of your daily worship rituals. This explains why scents like lemon and lavender are used in hospitals to calm patients and ward off malodor. Similarly, skimming through the powders and soaps section in a supermarket can positively influence sales. It has also been noted that fragrance trends are a trickle-down from the fashion industry.
Stay tuned to HerZindagi for more on the world of fragrances.