I remember the moment I understood the power of scent--
I had just received a perfume specimen from a client that was hoping to have me remake her discontinued aroma. Upon opening the protective wrapping I was flooded with a scent so charmingly familiar. A memory so vivd, so powerful, completely transported me back in time.
It was perhaps a year or so following the closure of my father's second marriage. We found comfort in each other's company, bonding as father and daughter in a way which we had not truly experienced since my toddler years. We coped as introverts do, silent understanding and unquestioned observation. My father and I were both delving into New Age thinking and would regularly visit The Odyssey - A quaint shop in the suburbs overflowing with tarot decks, crystal gems, meditation CDs, and a plethora of otherworldly paraphernalia.
The smell experience of the store, which I had never found a name for, travelled directly into my brain, lodging next to the part specialized for encoding experiences. There it got entangled with the other memories of that time, untouched by language, difficult to think about on purpose, but still lodged in my memory. Now, years later, the smell is not only enough to relive that experience but it is also enough to pull out the rest of the memories along with it. It was a defining and cherished part of my life that shaped who I would become, and the relationship I would have with my father in the future.
Our sense of smell is the only sense directly tied to the limbic area of the brain, which is considered the emotional control center. Incoming smells are first processed by the olfactory bulb, which starts inside the nose and runs along the bottom of the brain. The olfactory bulb has direct connections to two brain areas that are strongly implicated in emotion and memory: the amygdala and hippocampus.
Interestingly, visual, auditory, and tactile information do not pass through these brain areas. This means that when essential oils are inhaled, they go directly to the brain. Our other four senses — taste, sight, touch, and hearing — are first routed through the thalamus before reaching designated areas of the brain. Because the limbic system is directly connected to the parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, essential oils can have unbelievable physiological and psychological effects. This is why I choose to use them solely when creating perfume. Organic, pure oils and absolutes are healthier and safer than synthetic compounds; especially when knowing such details.
In addition to being the sense most closely linked to memory, smell is also highly emotive. Bitters End is built around this connection, by developing fragrances that seek to convey a vast array of emotions and feelings.
I believe that there is nothing worth doing in life if it isn't with passion. Love nurtures the soul, and in turn, the soul is filled with happiness. That happiness is infectious and inspires its own growth in others. While it is my belief that there are many happy moments and occasions in life, I find myself most inspired by the connection of two unique souls on their separate paths to happiness choosing to walk together. Bitters End is defined by the stories of our love, which can only be mastered through redefining how one interprets scent.
Whether through curated or custom creation, Bitters End's organic and natural perfumes will create the backdrop to your momentous moments.
This is my happiness, and how I spread it on to you.