Aromatherapy products are being used even in the workplace to increase the efficienty of executives, writes Lata Srinivasan
 
Perfumes have always been used essentially to make us feel good and influence our moods. Aromas have always been known to have a psychological effect on the mind and it’s no wonder that perfume manufacturers spend plenty of money on research of new fragrances.
 
How aroma therapy helps
 
Overwork, stress, and burnout have become an intrinsic part of our lives today. Aromatherapy can benefit individuals in numerous ways including improvement of work efficiency, reduction of stress, uplifting moods, and relaxation. The rise of aromachology as a science dedicated to the study of the effects of scents and moods on the psychology of the individual, stands testimony to the important role that fragrances can play in our lives today.
 
Beauty expert Manjul Gupta, who practices aromatherapy, says that this form of therapy involves the use of essential oils that are extracted from flowers, herbs and trees, to promote health and well-being. “Since it involves the sense of smell, it penetrates the system and influences the sensory organs in a shorter span of time,” she explains adding that this form of therapy has different treatments for treating different problems. Emphasising that a combination of different oils is used for treating each problem, she cautions that since these are highly concentrated oils, they should be used sparingly.
 
Fragrances in offices
 
Speaking on the use of aromatherapy at work, architect and interior designer Anshul Chodha, says, “personally, I believe any place needs to smell pleasant if not amazingly fragrant. Especially a workplace, since you’re spending most of your waking hours there and need to feel inspired to be productive and creative. The physical environment has a psychological impact on us and influences the way we function. The architect or interior designer’s job is to assess where the bad smells are coming from and ensure they stay downwind, and to make the best use of pleasant aromas in the surroundings. It has been proven scientifically that the fastest way to get a response from the brain is through the sense of smell.”
 
Aroma oils have different effects as each oil affects our emotions differently. For instance, peppermint and cinnamon are said to energise, geranium is said to have a balancing effect, sandalwood and lavender relax you, lemon is uplifting, and lemon grass helps your memory power.
 
Distribution
 
There are several ways in which you can distribute the fragrance through a room. Elucidating on this aspect Anshul says, “The A/C duct would have to be the most obvious choice. Sprays, aroma candles, and incense are effective and easy to use. Fresh flowers are also common these days, with florists striking long term deals with corporate houses. Another offbeat technique I’ve come across is to spray some perfume on a light bulb before turning it on.” Diffusers and diffusing devices can also be used to fill an area with a particular fragrance.
 
A word of caution
 
“Excessive inhalation of these oils may lead to side effects like giddines, so using just a drop or two is advisable,” says Manjul. Aroma oils or fragrances should be used at intervals in offices, say once in the morning and once in the evening as the fragrance and the effect lingers on for quite a while. Also, there are certain essential oils that should avoided with certain health conditions. You must always seek the advice of a qualified professional or qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using aroma oils or products at home or at work. They will also be the best guides on the various aroma oils and their effects.