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LIMBIC BONDING…J Heaton, Winnegrad

Science in brain studies is now showing us that we have to be less scientific, less rational in marketing fragrances. M. Gazzaniga says; “98% of what the brain does is outside of conscious awareness.” The brain: the neocortex- is not really in control as much as it thinks. Most of the time we in fact make a decision unconsciously, and then we build a conscious argument to support that decision.


At the University of Colorado a study was done where the subjects view a picture of a man’s face while holding a warm cup of coffee. They had a more positive view of the person, than those who held a cold cup of coffee. This suggests that the reptilian brain (the Limbic System) is reacting to the physical sensation of the warm cup of coffee and deciding on the basis of that. This warmth is a good indicator for the man in the photo. The limbic brain, the emotional center, then puts in its two cents: “warm is good. I want to be around people who are warm. They can be trusted more than people who are cold.” The lingual/rational cortex then rationalizes the decision made by the unconscious (limbic system) part of the brain.


This fascinating bit of science is incredibly relevant for marketing a fragrance. The limbic system wants to know if the thing is threatening or desirable and ascertains this from what it can see, smell, taste and touch, not what it can deduct by rational means. The power of your fragrance is actually determined by its ability to resonate in the limbic system. Smell, goes directly there, along with vision, emotion and your other four senses. There is no capacity for words in the reptilian limbic system. There are times when one can’t express the intensity of what one feels. So why talk ingredients, let us LIMBIC BOND.


If we communicate a vision, emotion with a fragrance we will perform a LIMBIC BONDING with the consumer. We should take advantage of this relatively new finding with the limbic system and relate a fragrance to others through an emotional vision and BOND with their LIMBIC SYSTEM. As the old adage says; “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Categories: Article Summary Philosophical Perspective

ron winnegrad

Ron Winnegrad has been a Perfumer and teacher for 46 years. As a perfumer, Ron has been able to express the world he sees through a rainbow of olfactive and emotive visions. As a teacher, Ron has helped others to see fragrance through his own multi sensorial lens.

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