The Therapeutic Effects of Botanical Perfume

Posted by Mason Hainey on

MIZU: Where Aromatherapy meets Fine Fragrance. 


You've likley heard this before — Skin is our largest organ.

Our skin is porous and provides a pathway into our bodies and central nervous systems. So what we apply to our skin, matters.  The beauty of natural materials is their incredibly diversity — within 1 drop of essential oil or absolutes ( what we use to make perfume ), there are dozens to hundreds of unique molecules --some of which are odorless or are at such small levels, that they are only perceived at a subconscious level.

But just because we don’t notice them, doesn’t mean they aren’t providing value.


Botanical Jasmine Therapeutic Benefits


For example, let’s look at Jasmine —
Within 1 drop of jasmine there are dozens of organic molecules, all existing in harmony to create the scent we know and love. Many clinical studies have shown jasmine’s benefits as a sedative and natural anti-depressant. But where does that come from?

When natural jasmine is either inhaled or applied via perfume, it enters our bodies and interacts with our central nervous system, helping to slow our breathing and reach a calm state of mind. 

Even further, as our breathing begins to deepen, our blood-oxygen saturation also increases, which means our brain is getting more oxygen. When this happens, we reach the magic feeling of being calm and focused. 



how Jasmine effects GABA Levels



As another example, the scent of natural jasmine, directly interacts with a neurotransmitter in the brain known as GABA ( Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid ). Low levels of GABA are thought to be linked to anxiety and mood disorders. Over the past 10+ years, studies has shown that simply smelling jasmine boosts GABA levels by more than 5x, helping to soothe anxiety and mild depression. 

These therapeutic benefits are a result of the dozens of “invisible” organic molecules within 1 drop of Jasmine — and these are not found in synthetic perfumes.  


Benefits of Botanical Perfume



The human nose is an incredible thing -- capable of registering trillions of aromas and molecules at unconscious levels. There is a mountain of research that indicates that humans are even able to perceive emotion thought scent -- and these emotional states are contagious.

A 2015 study showed that when participants were asked to watch certain films  ( one group watching happy scenes from The Jungle Book, with another group watching scary scenes from The Shining ). As they watched, their body odors were collected through sweat samples.

A third group of participants were asked to smell these sweat samples. Their reactions when measured through both fMRI scans of the brain and electrodes to measure facial muscles. Those who smelled the samples of the happy-movie watchers were observed to have genuine facial expressions of joy. When smelling the samples of those who watched the scary clips, were shown to have facial expressions that shown stress. 

Another example - In fMRI scans, people sniffing the sweat from first-time parachute jumpers lit up the brain’s left amygdala -- This is where basic emotions are registered, suggesting emotional states such as fear are contagious, too.

These emotional contagions are known as chemosignals, often carried through scent and register in the brain to provide information. It's the same science of dogs- and why they sniff each other. Its a way of communicating basic information and emotional states, non-verbally.


Chemosignals in plants


So, now looking back at plants.

All plants have a life force within them. In fact, there is a great deal of publications showing that trees communicate via underground root systems and chemosignals of their own to express ecological stress, famine, or danger.

For example the chemical signals expressed through crushed leaves will be registered by surrounding plants to communicate danger --  and warn them to ready their own biological defense systems.  

So if plants have their own chemosignals -- can we smell their emotions? Their own life force? Will a stressed out plant produce an essential oil that holds chemosignals of stress? 


Evidence shows that how and where a plant is grown greatly changes how it smells. Ask any perfumer or sommelier about Terroir and they will tell you how impactful this can be. Flowers grown in the ideal conditions will produce a much different aroma than that of a flower grown in stressful environments ( such as  poor air quality, overcrowding or too much sunlight ).

This is the reason why we spend so much time sourcing the highest quality and most ethical / sustainable materials we can -- because it truly matters in how the send product will both Smell and Feel.


Therapeutic benefits of botanical perfume


These therapeutic benefits are not found in synthetic perfumes. 

Synthetic materials are made in labs-- combining one synthetically produced molecule at a time. Sterile and isolated -- they are there to replicate a smell, and nothing else. This is why there are no synthetic materials in aromatherapy. Because the therapeutic benefits come from this life force of the plant itself...and this "life force" is the result of dozens and hundreds of organic molecules in a single drop of essential oil -- not just the ones that produce a strong aroma. 


This soulful mixture of organic molecules found in nature is not something that can reproduced in a lab. Currently we don't even have the tools to measure every singe molecule that is within a drop of essential oil.

Science is responsible for many beautiful things, but replicating the soulful beauty of nature is not one of them. For now, we'll have have to leave that to botanical perfumers.  


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  • nature is so magical! i just love this article and the information you are sharing! :) this is why MIZU creations are so very special. in addition to nature, your love is also in every bottle/jar! :) thank you, mason, for your integrity and thoughtfulness in all you do.

    happy on

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