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As soon as the "recipe" of the scent combination is sent to a device fitted with a portable fragrance atomizer, the scent is emitted exactly as the sender intended. This is how it works: a cartridge contains 16 individual scents which are distributed via pressurized air in a micropump. The 16 scents can be blended to create a current total of up to 60 pre-combined different fragrance impressions. There are no limits to the user's creativity, though, and everyone can send their own creations. Each scent component has its own opening in the fragrance dispenser of the atomizer, and software controls it to release each specific note for a given period. For example, the machine creates one scent named “Gentle Relaxation” within 20 seconds by releasing bursts of lavender oil (ten seconds), cedar wood oil (five seconds) and musk (5 seconds). If you want, you can activate multiple cycles to intensify the effect.
Symrise supplies the essential oils and fragrance compositions. Hiroshi Yoshimoto, Fragrance & Oral Care Manager at Symrise in Japan, sees the new concept as an enormous opportunity for the perfume market, since it moves fragrance communication into people's everyday lives. People can create their own unique personal fragrance note and send their friends their favorite scent, much like they send pictures or video clips. “In the future, many social subcultures may define themselves not only in terms of their appearance, but by how they smell”, as Yoshimoto predicts.
Companies have long since been working with sensory marketing to get people in the mood to spend money or to influence the consumers’ impression of a brand in a positive way. NTT Communications has had comparable positive experiences in using scents in Japanese hotels and hospitals. Sunichi Hamada, aromatherapist and telecommunications expert at NTT Communications, wants to synergize the power of scents by harnessing them to the Internet and TV. People can program the round atomizer online or via their cell phones to modify the fragrance depending on the time of the day and their mood; they simply change the formula. The atomizer device currently costs some €130, and it is scheduled to be launched early next year.
The nose is the only organ that leads its sensory input directly to the brain, unfiltered. The part of the brain which processes smells sends sensory impressions to the amygdala, which is part of the limbic system. These stimuli generate feelings and memories at the speed of light.
Scents can trigger very strong emotions, and every one of us has had the experience of subconsciously perceiving a scent and suddenly being reminded of a childhood memory or some other long-forgotten event from the past.