Veterinarian Reviewed on June 20, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized
Fragrance may also be called odorant, aroma or flavor, and it is classified as a compound that is added to improve the smell or odor in food, medications, personal care products and many other products that you use every day. Fragrance needs to be volatile to be detected by the olfactory system and most of all high in concentration to interact with the receptors of smell.
Fragrance is found in many items that you use each day around your home such as in perfumes, spices, wine, fragrance oils and many other such products. Odor is also added in substances that are potentially dangerous and hazardous like propane and natural gas like liquefied petroleum gas and also in hydrogen. Fragrance is commonly added to food to improve the appeal of products.
History and Origin
Fragrance or aroma is classified by their structure. They can be esters, linear terpenes, cyclic terpenes, aromatics and amines. Each one is used in a specific industry and can emit a certain flavor or aroma. Some of these compounds are derived naturally while others are produced synthetically at a particular laboratory.
The use of fragrance to enhance the quality of food and personal care products has actually been done since the ancient times. Ancient civilizations in many parts of the world have used essences and natural fragrances derived from Herbs and fruits to enhance the aroma of food. Perfumes were from different natural sources such as various spices, herbs and ripe fruits. Fragrances were thought to evoke certain feelings of joy, confidence and personal well being in a person, among other feelings as well.
In modern times, fragrance is mostly used in perfumes and in cosmetics to neutralize any unpleasant odor. Odor also makes a scent different from another and this is what makes an individual have their own special brand of perfume or scent. Cosmetic brands have their special line of scents and fragrances like a delicious vanilla scent or strawberry flavor which identifies brands from each other.
Fragrance is also added to soaps, shampoos, skin care products, hair care products, and many other items that are used daily. It may also add a distinct smell in deodorants, antiperspirants, aftershaves, toothpastes and styling aids as well.
Aroma is also added to food to enhance the quality and taste of the dish. Commercially packed foods are full of flavor and aroma to improve the taste and appeal more to consumers. Aside from the food and personal care industry, fragrance or odor is added to detect certain dangerous chemicals. LPG or liquefied petroleum gas is an odorless and colorless gas. Odor is added to give a distinct smell so anyone can detect any leaks in LPG tanks and hoses at home.
Chemicals and compounds used to add fragrance in cosmetics and food may cause an allergic reaction. Some inhaled fragrances may cause asthma and induce eczema symptoms in some people. Initial signs of an allergic reaction would be sneezing, skin itching and wheezing in individuals with asthma.
If you have asthma and eczema, it is best to limit contact with products that have compounds that improve smell. Ask your doctor regarding the best skin care or personal care product to use to avoid side effects of fragrances.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan