Dimensions of Fragrance

Fragrance molecules can have power beyond the realm of olfactory sensation. In the natural world, these substances have properties to attract, repel, excite, relax and evoke other actions in plants and animals. Perhaps their bioactivity had a role in the evolution of olfactory receptor proteins.

A surprising number of natural fragrance source materials have uses in traditional medicine and are being studied for their therapeutic properties. Fragrances can be of both psychological and physiological benefit. But just because something smells good doesn't mean it is necessarily good for you. Some fragrance compounds have been linked to health problems such as accumulation in human tissue, nerve damage and cancer. It is therefore important to understand all these additional dimensions of fragrance. Their extra-olfactory properties can and should be an important part of fragrance design and may even suggest ways to enhance the sensory experience of new fragrance compositions.


Fragrance and Emotion

Human use of fragrances dates back thousands of years to the first use of incense in ancient Mesopotamia. The esthetic qualities of scent can affect our emotional state to relax, arouse, or even evoke autonomic responses. These powerful connections between olfaction and emotion illustrate how perfumery can do far more than merely make us smell good. Iridesce fragrance design seeks to optimize the integral relationship between scent esthetics and emotions.


Natural Fragrance Materials

We live in an age in which synthetic chemicals are increasingly used in commercial fragrances. In some cases, it is impossible not to use synthetic materials due to ethical issues (musks) or because certain highly-valued fragrance molecules are simply not found in nature (e.g., isobutyl quinoline). The reliance on synthetics has enabled fragrance houses to achieve consistency on a large scale, as well as create exciting new scent experiences. The synthetics always relate back to the natural world in an attempt to recreate or enhance a natural counterpart. But natural fragrance compounds have their own issues. Essential oils are often highly complex, variable in consistency and may even contain unnecessary or unwanted components. Nevertheless, natural fragrance products have a distinct property that can never be duplicated in a synthetic - authenticity. The scent of natural musk or sandalwood, for instance, has a complex olfactory profile that doesn’t just remind us of nature, it is nature. Iridesce embraces the natural world in the pursuit of fragrance authenticity and is open to the selective use of synthetic fragrance compounds to enhance or extend the sensory experience of the natural.