Is it the coolness of trees, rushing through open windows?
Or is it the powerful coffee aroma in the kitchen?
May be it is perfume, tickling you nostrils after you have shaven?
Probably, morning scent is menthol, first of all. Bathroom, white toothpaste squeezed onto the toothbrush, feeling of morning healthiness before new day starts. Millions of microscopic ice crystals spread all over your mouth. Sudden chill that makes your tongue go numb. Long-lasting feeling of coolness…
Number of smell-detecting cells in the nasal cavity is more than 60 million, while only 10 thousand cells detect taste in the mouth. Since nasal membranes in human body are connected with oral cavity, – smell, in reality, becomes a summation of taste and scent senses. This phenomenon is well-seen in such English words as: “smell”, “taste” and, also, “flavor”.
The effect that different aromas have on humans was discovered long time ago. It is known that, for protection reasons, primitive man saturated his attire with smoke from the bonfire. Scent of ashes causes panic and fear in animals. Ancient Egyptian priests possessed the knowledge of scent to perfection. They could create a scent, which could attract or cause aversion in people. Ancient Indians always carried small aromatic vessel around and brought it to their noses for good mood. Strong aroma is tightly associated with pleasant memories. It is enough to remove a cap from the bottle on a “rainy day” and pleasant smell will briefly take you back to happiness and joy.
These phenomenal abilities of aroma became available for general public use only recently.
Nowadays you can find alarm clocks, which wake you up with pleasant aroma given out from the mechanism. “Nissan” manufactured an automobile, which, with help of onboard computer, observes driver’s eyes and face expressions. If the driver starts being drowsy, loud alarm goes off and refreshing aroma is pulverized inside the car.
Japanese company “Shimizu” offers its consumers aromas, which increase work capacity and eliminate stress. Research showed that in the course of fulfilling monotonous work, jasmine and lavender aromas reduce errors twice. Eucalyptus aroma evokes excitement and enforces productivity. Lemon scent eliminates fatigue, while geranium enhances hearing ability. More extensively aroma is used, more it is produced artificially. Nowadays hundreds of new aromas are produced every day. And, who knows, may be with new technologies artificial aromas turn into “nose trainers” and our flair, which is considered to be an atavism, will once again become our main sense.
In any case, the fact is that man; once again, starts to rediscover the world of scents. The central idea from time immemorial is: good scent means safety. This example forces modern man to use scent as a tool of expressing his readiness for constant cooperation.
Handsome Gable’s problem
It may sound strange, but in Soviet Georgia, despite achievements in social hygiene sphere, human odour issue was set aside as unethical and unsuitable for Soviet person. To put it more accurately, Soviet person had a smell, but it could only be legitimate. One poet said: “Driver’s hands smell of petrol, Sailor smells of sea and wind. And only idler smells of nothing.”
It sound paradoxical, but aroma phenomenon came to our lives with advertisement. Apparently, self-respecting person could not leave the house before he/she used antibacterial soap and deodorant. Very soon advertisement assured us that offensive breath was simply murderous for our goals.
Real sensation in show business was Vivien Leigh’s confession. “During filming of “Gone with the wind”, she almost fainted every time she felt disgusting smell of Clark Gable’s prosthetics”.
50% of respondents in Great Britain are sure that offensive breath significantly reduces the chances of successful career. Every fifth respondent thinks that “halitosis” is the worst manifestation of human physiology.
Did you know that it has a scientific title – Halitosis? 65% of Europeans suffer from this disease. America spends 10 billion dollars every year to fight Halitosis.
There are many causes provoking Halitosis, but, first of all, we need to mention microorganisms found in pathological pockets, caries cavities, interproximal areas between teeth, mucous tunic of nasopharyngeal surface and oral cavity epithelium. These facts tell us only this: the best way to solve the problem of offensive breath is substantial oral cavity hygiene.
The formulation of the means of oral cavity hygiene was worked out for many centuries. Our ancestors cleaned their teeth with things incomprehensible for modern men: ash, ground stones and glass, honey saturated hair, charcoal, gypsum, roots of various plants, cacao seeds and so on.
About three hundred years ago Europeans started using salt for this purpose. But later it appeared that salt is not all that harmless for mucous tunic of the oral cavity as it seemed from the beginning. By the beginning of 19th century chalk was chosen as best solution. Pharmacists produced fine-ground chalk and added tinctures of various plants leafs and fruits to it for aroma. Later those were replaced by essences.
Chalk powder was quite cheap and affordable for everyone, but due to its abrasive properties it was damaging enamel. They started working on toothpaste, which would have jellylike consistence and evenly distributed finest chalk powder. First, in order to get jellylike toothpaste they used starch. Later it was replaced by organic acid natrium salt.
Toothpaste formulation was changed by adding of aromatic substances, which make the process of brushing teeth so pleasant. The most popular toothpaste aroma is Peppermint (Mentha piperita). 68% of American market is held by Peppermint flavored toothpaste. In Europe this figure is 70%. Interesting fact is that biggest toothpaste producers are, also, biggest peppermint buyers.
Popularity of peppermint is explained not only by its aroma of coolness, but also by old tradition. Peppermint aroma always symbolized something good. Ancient Romans believed that peppermint aroma elevated spirits and made friendly conversation more pleasant. That is why banquet halls were sprinkled with peppermint water, peppermint leafs were pressed onto the tables and guests were presented with peppermint bouquets. Plants etymology takes us to romantic legend. It is related to a nymph named Mintha, who was turned into fragrant plant by Persephone, the goddess of underworld and dedicated to Aphrodite.
It is so important to enrich our lives with pleasant aromas, for good mood, cheerfulness and happy communication!
Healthy breath is as good an indicator of personal culture, as clean collar and proper articulation.
We know that pleasant smell sometimes can perform miracles. Patrick Zuskind in his novel “Perfume” managed to convey this idea in the best of ways, by creating Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, the leading character of the novel. His brilliant sense of smell helped him in creation of ideal aromas to command people. Aroma has the power, more superior then that of a word, reality, sense and will. Aroma is the brother of breath. It gets deep inside us and passes the verdict on sympathy or antipathy, repugnance or passion, love or hate. The master of aromas is the master of human hearts”.
Read Full Post »