IFRA UK: Fragrance - enriching our lives every day

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Fragrance – enriching our lives every day


It is often said that if we smell good, we feel good. Fragrance has the ability to lift our mood, bring back a memory, or even completely transport us to another time and place. Some top level benefits include: • • • • • • • • • •


Enhancing self-confidence Relieving stress Promoting relaxation and contentment Enhancing consumer products Helping encourage better hygiene Bringing emotional benefits Lifting our mood and sense of well-being Creating allure and attraction Making a house a home by creating a special atmosphere Boosting the economy and jobs

Enriching our lives through fragrance The human nose contains roughly 400 olfactory receptors, each of which responds to different smells in different ways, and unless you are dealing with identical twins, no two people will have the same genetic make-up for those receptors. These receptors are directly connected to the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain, which is thought to be the seat of emotion, which is why certain scents can trigger reactions in our head that then lead to an emotional response. Because we all react differently to fragrances we can create our own ‘smell-scape’. For instance, many of us find fragrance can alter our mood by relieving stress, creating calm or improving our self-esteem. Others use fragrance to create a sense of self, a sense of family, and a sense of place by helping to define our homes to ourselves and others. In fact, fragrances have associations the world over, and are embedded in our history and culture. For example, lavender is thought of as a sleep aid, and helps to calm the nerves; peppermint is thought to help alleviate stress; cinnamon is believed to take away fatigue; rosemary aids memory and citrus tones are associated with cleansing, as well as improving mood and concentration.

The functional benefits of fragrance

The smell of clean laundry is the single smell that we most commonly associate with the comfort of home.

The functional benefits of fragrances are immediate and valued for the tangible benefits they bring to millions of people. The complex properties of fragrances allow individuals to control or remove malodour: the bad smells that afflict the everyday lives of millions. Control of these smells, using fragrances embedded in household and personal care products, improves the quality of people’s lives. As well as combating malodour, fragrances communicate complex ideas – creating mood, signaling cleanliness, freshness, or softness, alleviating stress, creating well-being, and triggering allure and attraction.


The laws of attraction Beyond the functional role played by some fragrances, they may also play an important role in helping us to find a mate. Fragrances are known to have an alluring effect with many people using perfumes and scents to create the right mood when they go on a date, or take part in other social occasions. Research also suggests that we naturally use scent in certain settings, literally sniffing out the partner who will be right for us, suggesting that our noses will help make some very important choices in our lives. For example, Professor Tim Jacobs, of Cardiff University’s School of Biosciences believes smell is an important guide to people choosing their lovers and mates. People often opt for mates who give off a distinctly different odour, which may signal a notably different immune system that results in children who are healthier than their parents. In an experiment, Professor Jacobs tested out what he calls this “hedonic reciprocity,” asking students to anonymously rate the odours of other students - both male and female as attractive or unattractive. He found that participants who had a similar genetic make-up disliked each other’s odours, while they enjoyed the smell of those who were dissimilar.



A thriving industry contributing to the economy As well as producing products for consumers that answer many of our functional and emotional needs, the fragrance industry is a large contributor to the economy. The health and beauty market in the UK is estimated at around £10.98 billion and fragrance plays a big part in that. Almost 20 million people in the UK use a perfume regularly each week and on average, each person in the UK spends £80 every year on fine fragrance. Fragrance does, of course, go beyond beauty products. For example, the household cleaners sector is a £774 million market, fabric conditioners sector is £429 million and the fragranced air care is an additional £436 million. Air fresheners are becoming increasingly popular with an average £22 spend per person per year in the UK. As a result, the fragrance industry creates employment and prosperity. Its continuing investment in knowledge based innovation, understanding and creativity returns a substantial economic contribution to society, directly sustaining thousands of jobs and enhancing communities worldwide.



Supporting the industry to be more sustainable IFRA also supports and encourages its members to play an active role in sustainability. It provides a forum for discussion so members can continue to develop sustainable programmes and share information. Many companies in the UK are now progressively integrating sustainability aspects into their work. This can vary from how they source their materials and how their supply chains are managed, to building new roads and energy conservation. The fragrance industry’s contribution to society via its responsible approach to every aspect of fragrance sourcing, creation and distribution is hugely enhanced by the reassurance that is provided by IFRA membership.

About IFRA UK IFRA UK is a member of an international body that develops and promotes standards that ensure the safe creation, and enjoyment of fragrance. It is a membership organisation that operates a code of practice ensuring its members adhere to strict quality, safety and compliance standards. You can find out more about IFRA UK at www.ifrauk.org

IFRA UK – setting standards of excellence Published by IFRA UK

Lisa Hipgrave, Director IFRA UK

© IFRA United Kingdom 2017

Mobile: 07909 916413 Email: Lisa@ifrauk.org

IFRA UK membership inquiries: secretariat@ifrauk.org

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