The difference between aromatherapy and aromachology

The science of fragrances in regard of personal well-being can basically be divided into two areas: aromatherapy and aromachology.
aromatherapy is exclusively therapeutic and may only be performed by licensed professionals. It uses only natural raw materials and researches which scents cause a certain physiological reaction.
A more scientific approach is taken by aromachology, which examines which psychological reactions are caused by which fragrance and for what reasons.

The beginnings of aromatherapy as practised today date back to the 1920s. However, the use of essential oils and aromas has been known at least since 3000 B.C., where they were already used for cultural but also for medical purposes. As mentioned above, aromatherapy uses only natural ingredients and fragrances to treat conditions related to mood and emotions. As this is a very sensitive subject, it may only be performed by professionals. Although it involves inhaling or burning fragrances, the main focus is not on the smell of the essential oils, but on the healing properties they contain.

In contrast, aromachology, which emerged in the 80s of the last century, is based exclusively on scientific studies. It focuses on the psychological effect of scents on moods and emotions. It is not limited to natural fragrances, but is also positively disposed towards the use of synthetic fragrances. Originally, it was mainly implemented in the retail trade to improve the customer experience or to stimulate purchase. However, thanks to new research, aromachology is now being taken more seriously than it was at the turn of the millennium and used for more beneficial purposes, including pain relief and treatment.

Today, the wisdom of aromatherapy and the science of aromachology are increasingly combined to create a new generation of “functional fragrances” (see also our blog text: The difference between functional fragrance and aromatherapy). In fact, aromatherapy has been used to prove some claims that have been around for centuries, such as the relaxing properties of lavender. As a result, the fragrance is being reformulated as an important active ingredient. However, this also demonstrates the need for these sensitive issues, which are particularly important for the right combination and correct dosage, to remain in the hands of specially trained professionals.