The Global Wellness Institute has just made its latest prediction into the future of fragrance, and it’s much more than just aromatherapy. The latest research suggests that we can go above and beyond the use of essential oils to stimulate certain effects throughout the mind and body, but actually use certain smells (aside from essential oils) to ‘hack’ our brain and mood, playing a huge role in the overall wellness landscape.
“The future of fragrance will be using scent to ‘biohack’ our brains and bodies to perform better,” says Joanne De Luca of Sputnik Futures, a company that specialises in anticipating consumer trends. As an example of this theory in practice, new research at the Stevens Institute of Technology revealed that simply smelling coffee alone may help people perform analytical tasks better, offering the placebo effect of caffeine.
UK natural supplement company The Nue Co. has created the first anti-stress supplement that can be worn as a fragrance. The unisex scent, which has been dubbed “Functional Fragrance”, was developed using data insight and research into the connection between cognitive function and the olfactory system. More research between this link is expected to flourish over the next few years. Already, studies of rosemary’s effect on cognition indicate that being exposed to the aroma helps people perform mental tasks faster and more accurately. And, a positive side effect is the feel-good factor of aromatherapy: The subjects’ moods improved with exposure to the rosemary aroma.
There are plenty of other advancements in the field too, as outlined by the Global Wellness Institute:
- New vehicles may offer sensors and AI functions that enable auto manufacturers to interpret a driver’s mental and physical state. This will allow the exploration of how scent could be used to minimise negative or dangerous driving behaviors like anger or tiredness.
- Fragrances will also have a very functional use in future industrial applications: Equipment makers are exploring integrating “scent alarms” into equipment that is “out of sight” (perhaps underground, within walls, or in a control room)—a certain scent would be released to alert maintenance that service is required.
- Plenty of venues and applications already utilise functional fragrances to influence their guests’ mood (i.e.. awake in a casino or predisposed to spend in retail) but we may soon begin to see more widespread use of fragrances in urban environments, such as cities, accessing personal sensors and big data to identify stressed-out parts of the city and then deploying a calming scent.
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