Fragrance News This Week in Fragrance: Odor Receptors, Fragrance Fixers and Ancient Aromas

This Week in Fragrance: Odor Receptors, Fragrance Fixers and Ancient Aromas

08/10/16 08:43:46 (5 comments)

by: Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Elise Minton at introduced a new way to increase a fragrance's longevity this week:

Created by a mother and daughter duo with a deep affinity for all things fragrance, the founders, Josephine Sullivan and Francine Gingras, found that every other type of beauty product had some sort of option for staying power—everything but fragrance. Hence, FragranceLock was born.

Have you or anyone you know tried this yet? 

Fragrance Lock product

Rob Zimmer of discusses what to plant when planning a fragrant evening garden:

Enjoy the beauty of your garden from sunset and beyond by incorporating plants with gleaming foliage and heavenly aromas to last well into the night. Plants with foliage or blossoms in white, silver, pale yellow, light pink and other colors are especially attractive for evening or night gardens, where their shimmering foliage and blooms seem to glow in the darkness of night.

Which evening blossoms are you most drawn to?

Casa blanca lily

Kelsey Kloss at takes us through the history of home fragrance practices:

From electronic diffusers to plug-in fresheners, there's no shortage of ways to make our homes smell good. Our living spaces can smell like anything we so desire, just about — from cinnamon spice to sea breeze (we're still figuring out what exactly that smells like — but we know it's good). Although the technology to spread irresistible scent throughout our homes has advanced, we humans have always had a nose for a nicely scented space. In fact, it all started with Ancient Egypt, one of the world's oldest civilizations that's believed to have begun around 3000 B.C. (And you thought AirWick started the home scent revolution.)

What's your favorite way to scent your home? Fragrantica editors recently discussed their favorite scented candles HERE.

An incense stick burning.

Eric Block of the University of Albany, NY discusses his research on the theory of olfaction (how we perceive aroma):

How this amazing sense works to discriminate odors is controversial. The mainstream mechanism vying for consideration is chemical. Often referred to as the shape theory of olfaction, it proposes that attractive and repulsive interactions between molecules come into play when an odorant interacts with its receptor in the nose - ultimately triggering perception of the smell. The alternative mechanism is called the vibrational theory of olfaction. It assumes that transfer of an electron occurs when odorants bind with their receptors. The vibration theory has been promoted by a popular book on the topic. Through our new research, my colleagues and I are shifting the debate. Based on our experiments, we conclude that the chemical mechanism is the correct one and the vibrational theory of olfaction is implausible. 

Many of you will remember that the vibration theory was made famous by Luca Turin, the subject of Chandler Burr's Emperor or Scent.

Woman smelling lavender

But interestingly, Ryan Black at reports that the nose is not the only organ that perceives aroma:

Olfactory receptors (ORs), responsible for detecting scent, have been found for the first time in the bronchi, and by their interactions with the receptors, certain substances can cause the bronchi themselves to contract or dilate. A study out of Germany, published last week in Frontiers in Physiology, details the findings and their implications. The two types of receptors were identified as OR1D2 and OR2AG1, expressed the protein and RNA levels of human airway smooth muscle cells, “ubiquitously present in the bronchial tissue.”

This might explain why some individuals have difficulty breathing in the presence of specific scents.

Illustration of lungs as a tree with flowers

Have interesting fragrance news for us to share?
Leave a comment in the new Fragrance News thread HERE.


Image of the author


Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison

Managing Editor & Columnist

Dr. Marlen Elliot Harrison’s journalism in the fragrance industry has appeared in international print and online publications such as PlayboyMen’s JournalMen’s Health and the New York Times. Marlen is also a regular contributor to and works as a graduate professor, thesis advisor and faculty supervisor for MA programs in TESOL, Education, Writing and Literature. Learn more about Marlen by visiting



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@odoro: just click the linked name or visit fragrancelock dot com!


Night blooming jasmine. We planted these shrubs under our bedroom windows in Florida, and the scent was heavenly. So strong it would wake you up at night. Up north, my favorite are Oriental lilies. Does the same thing!

Many people are allergic to perfume, so it's no wonder there are bronchial receptors. There had to be an explanation other than it acts as an airway irritant.


not just the bronchia but many organs, and not surprisingly, the skin. for me most interesting is the complex role of genetics in both our own personal skin smell, and in what, how, when and what we smell through olfaction. it is fascinating and we are truly just at the dawn of a great age of discovery about olfaction and the science of the sense of smell. thanks.


For fragrant evening plantings, nicotiana, stock, 4 o'clocks waft through windows and along walkways quite enticingly. Fragrant lilies have a fragrance that lasts long into the evening too. White flowers highlighted by moonlight seem to glow like the finest pearls and are magical and enchanting.

Home scents: baking and cooking are always wonderful. Deliberate applications: a drop of an essential oil (lavender for the bedroom is so soothing) on a light bulb or simmering spices like cinnamon with a couple of apple slices is lovely.

Something to make fragrances last longer - when will it be available and at what price?


I would never imagine that bronchia have something to do with olfactory perception, but it's make sense!

Please someone has to have tryed the fragrance lock... I'm willing to hear about it!


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