Monday, May 16, 2011

Jenny Tilloston's Fashion, Perfume & Green Lantern's Emotional Spectrum 1

How do colors and odors affect your brain?  Dr. Tillotson from Cambridge has done a lot of research in this area.

Smell and color.  what would our world be without them?  Do they affect us psychologically?  Do they affect us physically?
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Our technological advancements have gone very far.  But it seems when it comes to our clothes, the best we can do is to raise and lower women's hemlines and repeat the same patterns we have used throughout our clothing history.  Is technology about to change that?  We hope so.  People like Jenny Tilloston also share in this hope.  The human skin is wondrous and does many beneficial things for our body.  Tilloston's Scentsory Fashion is not trying to replace the skin, but to enhance it.  Tilloston states,
We are entering a new age of perfumery. Scent has the power to evoke emotions because not only does the olfactory sense impact directly with the limbic system in the brain (our emotional centre) but recent research from 'The Sense of Smell Institute' in New York, has demonstrated how olfactory substances are capable of increasing an individual's wellbeing through changes in electrical brain activity.
"Fashion is the recognition that nature supplies us with one skin too few...that a fully Sentient Being should wear its nervous system externally."
J.G. Ballard 1994

Many think that clothes are just to cover our bodies and to shield them from the changes in the weather.  But this to us, seems like a very shortsighted approach.  If one thinks of it, clothes are with us all day and are the closest things to your physical bodies.  They could do so much more for us than merely protect us from the elements or perhaps when worn more tastefully emphasize our more sociologically approved better physical aspects.  Of course this is where fashion comes in.

In 1997, after graduating from the Royal College of Art with a Ph.D. in Printed Textiles, she produced a short film entitled, The Wellness Collection - A Science Fashion Story.  This was based in her doctoral thesis entitled, Interactive Olfactory.  We include it here for your perusal.  It is an excellent explanation of her work.  If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link:

Dr. Jenny Tilloston
But in this day of smart phones, and other "smart" things, why should clothes remain so relatively useless?  Dr. Tilloston seeks to design "smart" clothes which will act as a kind of second skin to us, a second nervous system.  Clothes that will reflect dynamically our feelings, and also, alter them in order to help us cope with situations.  These clothes will also keep track of your health and no doubt a host of other things which may be hard to imagine now.

The Power Of Scents
Perfume Organ
There is no question that smell is a very powerful sense, one that is often underestimated.  The whole industry of perfumery is an example of this.  Few people really understand this industry.  Perfume is built along the analogy of a musical orchestra.  It has bass tones, middle tones and high tones.  The instrument where perfumes are created is called an perfume organ, after the pipe organ.

It has been well known for a time that scents affect us in rather important ways.  They affect our emotions, our thoughts and even our actions in some cases.  We quote Rachel Herz, assistant professor of psychology at Brown University, who states,
Odors do affect peoples mood, work performance and behavior in a variety of ways but it isn't because odors work on us like a drug, instead we work on them through our experiences with them. That is, in order for an odor to elicit any sort of response in you, you have to first learn to associate it with some event. This explanation for how odors affect us is based on what is known as associative learning, the process by which one event or item comes to be linked to another because of an individual's past experiences. The linked event is then able to elicit a conditioned response for the original situation. In olfaction, the process can be understood as follows: a novel odor is experienced in the context of an unconditioned stimulus, such as surgical procedure in a hospital, which elicits an unconditioned emotional response, such as anxiety. The odor then becomes a conditioned stimulus for that hospital experience and acquires the ability to elicit the conditioned response of anxiety when encountered in the future. This mechanism explains both how odors come to be liked or disliked, as well as how they can elicit emotions and moods.
Apparently, smells can help us remember things better.  This explains the associative smells that the brain stores along with the memory.  Readers should not confuse this with aromatherapy, which seeks to cure diseases with the use of certain scents and oils.

We present to you a video which briefly covers its history.  If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link:

Dr. Tilloston's research has attempted to fuse together color and scent into a "living textile."
If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link:

If you cannot see the embedded video, here is the link:

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