5 surprising fragrance facts from the IFRA UK forum

By Julia Wray | Published: 20-Oct-2023

2023’s IFRA UK Fragrance Forum focused on ‘the science and creativity of olfaction and memory’

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The British fragrance industry was treated to scientific and creative presentations on the theme of smell and memory at the 2023 IFRA UK Fragrance Forum, which took place yesterday in London. 

Hosted by the UK branch of the International Fragrance Association, talks discussed in-depth how we scent, experience and remember different aromas. 

So here are five facts from the day, which you may not have known about smell, fragrance and the human memory:

1.   There is no olfactory ‘code’

5 surprising fragrance facts from the IFRA UK forum
In a presentation exploring the science of the olfactory system, Dr Stewart Firestein from the Department of Biological Sciences at Columbia University, US, explained that, unlike sight – for which there is a clear neurological pattern coding what we see – there is no olfactory code. 

Or, at least, what begins as a clear code produced by every odour is eventually muddled in the brain.

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