Scent of a Civilization An interview with Farah Abassi, founder of Aroma360
he use of natural oils goes back thousands of years in our world history. Globally it has traverse cultures and civilizations. Its transformative influence through a single smell at a particular moment or place can trigger memories long forgotten. As more and more of us understand the proven benefits of using these essential oils, the demand for high quality products has exponentially increased. Meet Farah Abassi, South Floridabased Aromachologist, entrepreneur and author, founder of local scent marketing company Aroma360. Since early childhood she understood the benefits of specific smells and scents. Inspired, she pursued and eventually specialized in the psychology of scents. Today Abassi is considered “a Renaissance Woman for the health and wellness industry.” Natural Awakenings shares this recent interview with Farah Abassi where she reveals some insights about a trade which began thousands of years ago.
NA: In recent years we have seen the introduction of natural scents – like lavender, bergamot, cardamom, peppermint, orange, and others – into our home products and personal use items. Why do you think this trend is so attractive to the masses, and how does an Aromachologist help us understand this attraction and its benefits? FA: I believe that natural scents are increasingly becoming the “mainstream” as more and more studies have concluded what different cultures have known for thousands of years. That some of the best remedies are natural. More and more people are realizing that all the chemicals in our environment are wrecking havoc on our bodies. Many people are developing very bad allergies and sensitivities due to the use of synthetics. Scenting with natural essential oils is so much more than just smelling good. Essential oils are the alternative that people are looking towards for a 38
healthier way of life. That is why there has been a rise in the use and production of healthy products–from the food we eat to household cleaning products and skincare. So it makes sense that people are going back to the basics and using the oils that as I said, have been used for thousands of years. The whole basis of Aromachology is examining the impact certain scents can have on mood, emotion, behavior, etc. Sadly, many people turn to pharmaceuticals which are a “Band-Aid” solution. My goal is to educate people and show them how they can use scents to accomplish the same things without relying on medications. Brands are using scenting to connect with their customers on an emotional level. People are extremely desensitized from traditional marketing tactics. Using scent is a very subtle way for brands to reach their customers and since our sense of smell is so closely linked to the emotional centers of our brain, it can make for a much stronger connection. Brands use certain scents to trigger the desired emotions. For example, is it a sales environment where they want to evoke feelings of trust with their clients? Is it a luxury store where they want to evoke elegance and sophistication? The more you can incorporate the five senses in a given experience, the stronger its effect and impact. As an Aromachologist, I have a deep appreciation and understanding of the science behind the different behavioral, physical and emotional benefits of aromatherapy and am so excited at the science that is increasingly being studied of its effects on humans. Aromachologists increasingly are studying the positive effects on behaviors and feelings from oils. My interest in this is constantly being “peaked” and the more I learn, the more excited I am to pass my knowledge on to others. Additionally, I find the healing properties associated with many of natures’ best smells to be incredible. For instance, using lavender is a great way to unwind, relax and help with sleep and restlessness. Citrus scents such as grapefruit and orange are wonderful for focus and freshening the indoor environment. Peppermint is a great pick me up. Interesting facts about the scent of peppermint, when introduced to a control group, in a controlled study at a fitness facility, that group had more grip strength, were able to lift more weights and do more reps.
NA: At 14 you had already discovered “your passion.” Why were you eventually inspired to launch Aroma360? FA: Yes, since the age of 14, I had a passion for essential oils that was borne from my first part time job in an aromatherapy store. From the moment I began learning about oils and their healing properties, I was hooked and basically became a “sponge” for any and all information on the subject. After completing a University degree in Finance, I spent a year traveling around Asia where I became more interested in Eastern Healing and philosophies. I was inspired to launch Aroma360 by the support of my boyfriend, who is an incredible businessman and entrepreneur. He encouraged me to follow my passion because he recognized the potential in the industry and knew that my knowledge, expertise and experience would make a perfect combination in a field that is poised to reach $10 Billion dollars in the next few years.