The International Fragrance Associations hosts Scentimental: Fragrance on the Mind

THE International Fragrance Association (IFRA) this year explored the effect of scent on mental health and wellbeing. The IFRA UK Fragrance Forum took place on World Mental Health Day – and the event focused on the theme Scentimental: Fragrance on the Mind.

The amount of research into mental health and neurogenerative diseases has progressively grown over the years, this is why IFRA decided to take this opportunity to showcase some of the innovative research that is taking place in regard to the sense of smell.

Olfaction has been associated with wellbeing for decades, from our uses of fragrances to hide bad odours to creating a scent that enhances how we feel. This year’s seminar showcases a variety of excellent speakers who will showcase different research into this field.

 

IFRA Delegates at this year's conference in LondonIFRA Delegates at this year’s conference in London

Fragrance is an important part of the UK’s £10.98 billion health and beauty market. Close to 20 million people in the UK use a perfume regularly each week and on average we spend £80 per year on fine fragrance. Beyond beauty products, fragrance in the sense of household cleaners is a £774 million market, fabric conditioners sector is £429 million and the air fragrances is around £446 million – it is an increasing market with people spending £22 on average on air fresheners per week.

IFRA’s UK Director Lisa Hipgrave said, “Smell is one of our major senses which is central to all our lives from the obvious effects to the less apparent and it can impact us in many different ways”. She went on to state that this forum will give those interested an opportunity to consider fragrance and smell from a different perspective. The topics spoken about at this conference range from olfactory dysfunction and impaired odour identification in Alzheimer’s Disease to ambient scent and fragrance in public spaces – but overall the key is to present the benefits that smell and fragrance have on our health and improve our day-to-day lives.

IFRA Joy Milne

One of the speakers was Dr Tilo Kunath who has been investigating whether there is a change in body odour that occurs when people have Parkinson’s disease. Joy Milne was the trigger of this research who was able to detect her husband’s Parkinson’s due to a change in scent. Milne spoke about her special ability to diagnose others and her journey to this discovery.

Another speaker was Professor Keith Wesnes who demonstrated the tasks used to assess cognitive ability to determine whether various factors and treatments have positive or negative influences on different aspects of cognitive function.

by Imogen Clark 

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