Breve introduzione all’aromaterapia

Brief introduction to aromatherapy

Essential oils are one of the oldest expressions of perfumery, before the advent of synthetic molecules, perfumes were studied only on the basis of vegetable odorous substances where essential oils represented the most prestigious category.


 For a long time people have distilled and processed the parts of certain plants to extract substances they believed to be powerful healers: essential oils are obtained by distillation or even other more complex processes of specific parts of the plant such as the bark, flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and other parts.

They are produced practically all over the world, for example spearmint essential oil is native to America, chamomile oil is from England, bergamot essential oil is from Italy, essential oil of Rosa Damascena (very precious and very expensive) from Bulgaria and so on. In the world, half a million plant species are estimated, of which at least 300 are used to produce essential oils used in modern aromatherapy.

Essential oils can have many uses both from a physiological point of view and, above all, from a psychological point of view. The psychological part is connected to the sense of smell and the central nervous system. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch of the "Smell and Taste Research Foundation" in Chicago, if ten minutes before the alarm time the air was imbued with an aroma considered stimulating we would wake up without the need for an alarm clock and again, if at work we perfumed the environment with specific perfumes like lemon or mint essential oil we would be more concentrated and active.

Another thing the professor discovered is that people judge any product to be more valuable if it is bought in a place that smells pleasant. According to Commerce Magazine , the presence of a pleasant scent in stores induces the customer to stay there 16% of the time longer and increases the growth of the average receipt from 10 to 20%.

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Science has been using aromatherapy for years: aromas can improve performance and the ability to learn and remember, they can alarm you, make you relax or change your mood the moment you smell them. The reason is that the odorous molecules connect with the receptor cells of the olfactory bulb which themselves have extensions that reach the brain.

Smell is one of the means by which the brain interfaces with the outside world. The part of the brain most involved in the stimulation of odorous molecules is the limbic system, the home of our emotions and the place where all our memories related to Olfactory Memory reside, which consists in the correspondence of an odorous stimulus to an emotional image.

The essential oils of bergamot, lemon, grapefruit and geranium are perfect for encouraging happy and carefree thoughts, such as a holiday on the coast in southern Italy.

The essential oils of mandarin, lemon and mint are excellent for aiding concentration and work, while the essential oils of lavender and chamomile are excellent for relaxing after a hard day's work.

If we want support for the respiratory system during the winter months, the vaporization of pine, thyme, fir, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils is recommended.

It is also excellent to perfume every room in the house with a different essential oil: the kitchen and the bathroom, for example, are very delicate rooms that must maintain a certain level of hygiene and where therefore the vaporization of essential oils is recommended with antimicrobial properties such as eucalyptus, fir, mint and tea tree. The rooms can be perfumed as desired with citrus essential oils to stimulate good mood or with calming essential oils to relax at best.

Each environment refers to different needs and it is therefore right that every environment is perfumed to reconcile them.

Federica Cosmast

Dr. Federica D'Incà - COSMAST Master in Cosmetic Science and Technology

"Every woman has the right to be beautiful" - Elizabeth Arden

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