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Sweet future for the fragrance industry.

A revolution in the fragrance industry may lead to peppermint-scented factories, bedrooms laced with lavender, and public aromatherapy bathhouses. Annette Green, president of the fragrance Foundation and vice president of the Olfactory Research Fund in New York, reported to the World Future Society that new scientific discoveries mean that scents increasingly will be used to keep people relaxed, yet alert, creative, and happy.

"Years ago, movie producer Mike Todd introduced |Smell-a-Vision' into theaters across the country so movie-goers would be able to smell what they saw, enhancing the reality of the experience. Though |Smell-a-Vision' wasn't perfected at the time, methods have now been devised to transmit scent to expand our enjoyment of the arts - both in and of the home - by allowing scent and fragrance to accompany sight and sound."

At Bowling Green State University, psychologist Pete Badia is studying the effects of fragrance on sleep and dreams. At the University of Minnesota, psychology professor Mark Snyder is identifying the role of Odor perception in social interaction. This is premised on the widely held view that a person never can have a relationship with someone whose smell he or she doesn't like.

Researchers also have found that fragrance can be used to reduce the anxiety and distress patients experience during some medical procedures. At New York's Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a study found that those exposed to heliotropin - a sweet, vanilla-like scent - experienced approximately 63% less over-all anxiety while undergoing magnetic-resonance imaging.

"Technology will make it possible in the very future to have calming sensory enclosures in every home, complete with relaxing and refreshing fragrance choices, computer-driven interior designs, and paintings with built-in sound, light and scent systems, which may be changed at the touch of a button," Green pointed out. She anticipates the establishment of sensory-fulfillment centers, where people can step into environments that bathe them in fragrances, sounds, and sights. More speculatively, she foresees "a |smart' cocktail dress that senses when its wearer is attracted to someone across the room and begins to emit an alluring scent. Alternatively, the fabric might emit a foul repellant to ward off Mr. Wrong."
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Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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