Fragrance: After a fall, the future looks bright

April 2021

Fragrance is the process of adding scented oils to a product to create a more pleasing smell. You may have experienced this at grocery stores, where flowers are arranged in the entrance, or at the mall, where hot pretzels are slathered with butter that smells like cotton candy. 

Not only can fragrance enhance the sense of smell and promote taste buds by using flavor in your food, but it can also help relieve stress and calms nerves. Studies show that children with ADHD who were exposed to a themed scent not only had an increase in focus but also showed significant improvement in their attention span. 

Some say it's all in the nose! 

Fragrance is derived from a number of natural sources, including flowers, fruit, and spices. There are two major classes of natural compounds used to produce fragrance: essential oils and aroma chemicals. Essential oils are composed mainly of volatile organic compounds with low molecular weight (in the hundreds) and high vapor pressure (many have boiling points close to or below room temperature). Aroma chemicals consist primarily of larger molecules with boiling points greater than room temperature. They are used extensively in perfumery, but many also find their way into food products as flavorings and additives. 

Research shows that companies that use scents have a higher customer satisfaction than those who do not. These findings are especially true when compared with companies that create artificial scents. 

But don't you think your nose is the best judge? 

Not really. There are many people who have very high opinion of the value of their own noses. In one study, a group of people were asked to provide opinions about whether they thought specific odors were pleasant or unpleasant. The results showed that the subjects' own estimation was a strong predictor of their perception! If you don't like something, chances are it's really not that great! 

The reason our noses can deceive us is because each nasal cavity has around 150 million odor receptors. An odor receptor is a specific protein molecule found on the surface of sensory cells. Scientists have identified roughly 400 different types of odor receptors, and it's thought that each one can respond to numerous odors. 

This is why we find it difficult to distinguish perfumes, and why it is hard to figure out if two people are wearing the same perfume. But some olfactory experts can not only smell the difference between different fragrances but can also recognize the brand names and order them based on their unique compositions. 

The human nose can detect about 10,000 different odors! A person's sense of smell becomes worse as they get older because there are fewer functioning receptors in the nose. 

In the last two decades, there has been a significant rise in demand for fragrances around the world. However, challenges are arising in the industry that could have a negative effect on what we know and love about fragrances. 

Challenges including substitution effects since it is becoming cheaper to buy synthetic substances than natural ingredients for fragrances, and price increases in different regions like China that have an impact on pricing globally. It also includes information about expected future trends like an increase in sales as well as population growth rates. 

The global fragrance industry is growing strongly, with an increase in sales as well as population growth rates. According to analysts, in 2021 and beyond the global fragrance market will reach a higher value at retail price. This shows a rise from the year before. In future, we can expect more in sales, with an increase from the year before. The global fragrances industry has been growing consistently.

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