History of Food Fragrances

Think about the smell of a freshly peeled orange, or a right-out-of-the-oven chocolate cake. Recall the taste of vanilla, or the sweet flavor of a banana in the morning. Now think about walking into Bath and Body Works and seeing the perfumes and lotions scented "chocolate cupcake" and "vanilla swirl," and ask yourself: how did these foods that we love to eat become the scents that we like to wear on our bodies?

In 1937, a widely known brand-- Old Spice-- added vanilla as an ingredient to their many kinds of body products. Vanilla has since then played a large role as an ingredient in fragrance products. Having a place in food, flavors, and scents, vanilla was one of the first major elements from food to be included as a fragrance. In the years following vanilla’s introduction into perfumes and body products, many other foods have found a position as a fragrance as well. Today, all one needs to do is go to the Bath and Body Works website and you can find scents ranging from citrus to chocolate cake. The addition of food-scents such as these has been followed by studies researching the toxicity of the chemicals needed to make these scents-- since some of them are synthetic-- as well as the association between the physiological olfactory versus gustation differences when using scents based on foods. ;xNLx;;xNLx;While products like perfumes have been in use since thousands of years before the common era, a more modern commercial production of fragrance-based products heavily expanded in the past few centuries. For example, Coty, a large fragrance company-- whose brands include Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs-- was founded in 1904; within 20 years, their perfumes were present worldwide. People wanted to be able to cover up their body odors while wearing a scent that smells good to them personally. The increase in the market for specific perfume scents generally followed the societal trend. After vanilla was added to foods, it began being added into scented products. And when chemists formulated a pleasurable synthetic strawberry smell, it quickly found its place in fragrance products in the 1980s. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Therefore, this timeline details the history food-scented fragrances specifically. From common scents like “vanilla,” to fragrances made to smell like “cupcake” and “pumpkin pie,” there are many connections between foods and fragrance. There are many themes introduced in this timeline that demonstrate the ways in which food scents have been introduced into fragrance products, as well as the impact they have had:;xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;Health (in relation to the effects these scents can have on people physiologically);xNLx;;xNLx;Environmental (how the chemicals in these food scents interact with the environment);xNLx;;xNLx;Gender (the differences in the effects of these scents for men and women);xNLx;;xNLx;Marketing/Origins (key dates that changed the market for food scented products);xNLx;;xNLx;Food Scents in Other Contexts (the expansion of these scents into completely unrelated products, like e-cigarettes);xNLx;;xNLx;;xNLx;Each specific category displays a unique set of dates that all combine for the purpose of explaining the introduction of food-scented fragrances into the world today. ;xNLx;

1805-01-01 00:00:00

Addition of Vanilla to Cookbooks

This is one of the early beginnings of vanilla-- being added to cookbooks and food was the first step in becoming a popular taste then eventually scent.

1886-01-01 00:00:00

Coca Cola and Vanilla

Coca Cola added vanilla to their formula for their soda, which represented another important marker for vanilla becoming so widespread in the 1900s.

1926-04-13 00:00:00

Perfumed Soap Cakes

This patent is more unique because it represents the invention of "soap cakes." The soap is shaped in the form of a cake technically to allow better washing of things-- but the cake shape alludes to the aroma being emitted from the soap and how the cake shape can sway users to smell something similar while using the soap.

1937-01-01 00:00:00

Old Spice Adds Vanilla

This was the first time Old Spice began using vanilla as an ingredient in their fragrance products for men.

1964-01-01 00:00:00

Vanilla Takes off in Men's Products

This marks the a main point in time when vanilla was being added to most fragrance products for men.

1969-11-17 00:00:00

Strawberry Popularity for Bugs

This journal articles interestingly relates how the differences in strawberry plants and their natural properties changed the amount of times that the plant was attacked by bugs. Researchers changed the diets of these plants to discover which strawberries were specifically luring to the aphids.

1978-01-01 00:00:00

Vanilla as Primary Aroma

This discusses how the aroma of vanilla is so potent that when it is added as an ingredient, it is primarily responsible for the aroma that is given off.

1980-01-01 00:00:00

Animal Processing for Musk Scent

Discussion of the manufacturing of products with "musk" from animals, which connects to the scent many males prefer as a body fragrance.

1985-01-01 00:00:00

Calvin Klein and Vanilla

In this year, the widely known brand, Calvin Klein, began using vanilla in their fragrance products.

1985-05-29 00:00:00

Use of Strawberry Resin for Scent

Researchers used strawberry resin as a fragrance in foams. The patent listed 60 days as the length of time this scent will last for the foam to smell like "strawberries."

1985-10-16 00:00:00

Vanilla In All Body Products

This marks a turning point in the addition of vanilla as a scent to many kinds of fragrance products, such as deodorants, soaps, etc.

1985-10-16 00:00:00

Common Chemicals in Perfume

This patent detailed the typical composition of perfumes-- including the combination of natural resources taken from the environment combined with synthetic materials.

1987-01-01 00:00:00

Ma Liberte and Vanilla

This was the first time the brand Ma Liberte added vanilla as an ingredient in their perfumes for women.

1987-01-01 00:00:00

Nino Cerutti and Vanilla

In this year, Nino Cerutti began adding vanilla into their fragrance products for both men and women.

1987-01-01 00:00:00

Byzance and Vanilla

In this year, Byzante also added vanilla to their fragrance products, which was significant because of the nature of being a foreign brand.

1991-09-01 00:00:00

Strongest Food Odors in Olfactory System of Rat

In this experiment, researchers were testing rats and their olfactory systems. They tested the rats using different aromas, including strawberry to see which scents (including many food-flavored) were most easily remembered.

1992-01-01 00:00:00

Musk as a Scent

Presents where musk comes from, which presents the time it became a popular scent for men, as a more "masculine" scent

1993-01-01 00:00:00

Neural Networks Based on Flavor/Fragrance

This journal article used neural networking to explain the preferences of certain scents to the brain. This specific study used orange flavoring to test the neural network.

1993-03-05 00:00:00

Chemical Agents "Protecting" Cosmetics from the Environment

This book details the chemical agents that are put in many cosmetic products to keep flavors and scents stronger, protect volatile components, and prevent environmental degradation.

1993-09-01 00:00:00

Methodology for Aromas

This journal article presents how interactions between aroma and taste can function to integrate sensory characteristics with certain attributes.

1994-01-01 00:00:00

Chemicals for Citrus Scent

Chemicals added into products to enhance citrus aroma, including terpenes and ingredients with potentially harmful health effects.

1994-01-01 00:00:00

Odorants from Natural Resources

Gave information on the chemicals of fragrances, but furthers the research in the way that it discusses the everything from chemical makeup and the effect on the environment to odorants made up of natural resources.

1994-01-02 00:00:00

The Unique Potency of Lemon

Examines the unique aroma of lemons compared to other citrus fruits, due to chemical properties. This uniqueness presents lemon as a different kind of market in fragrances.

1994-01-03 00:00:00

Yield of Vanilla Extraction

Reveals the yield in amount of vanillin when extracted from the environment naturally, and how this process allows for the use of vanilla as a scent.

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Pleasant Odors and Congruency

This experiment showed how different smells, like chocolate, can bring about different behaviors and feelings. For example, this research discovered states of arousal were highest when the chocolate odor was presented.

1996-01-01 00:00:00

Compositional and Isotopic Studies of Fruit Flavors

Discusses the differences in natural versus synthetic banana-- with synthetic aromas containing a larger amount of volatile compounds.

1996-01-01 00:00:00

Protective Banana Flavanoids

This article discusses the protective effects of ingredients from unripe bananas when extracted; these flavanoids help prevent aspirin-induced erosions.

1997-01-01 00:00:00

Biologically Trivial Nature of Fragrance

This article draws attention to the fact that fragrance is meant to make a pleasurable experience, but fragrances are not biologically important.

1999-03-23 00:00:00

Use of Odorants in Male Impotence

Discovered the use of smells such as cinnamon buns, doughnuts, and pumpkin pie as particular smells that increase blood flow to a male's genitals.

2001-01-01 00:00:00

Natural Vs. Artificial and Lack of Transparency in Formulas

This article helps to distinguish between artificial and natural flavoring by using fast food as an example. It also demonstrates the secrecy that industries have by not providing their formulas, which helps with marketing to consumers.

2001-01-01 00:00:00

Volatile Chemicals in Banana Flavor and Aroma

This peer review was able to discuss and identify volatile and potentially harmful chemicals that were involved in giving the overall flavor and aroma of bananas.

2001-03-01 00:00:00

Brain Differences in Scent and Gender

Demonstrated that their may be differences in our brains based on gender that allow us to prefer different odors-- including scents like florals and citrus.

2002-01-01 00:00:00

Taking from Nature for Citrus Aroma

Discusses how the citrus ingredients come from the peels of the plants/fruits, which are then used for aroma in fragrance products.

2002-04-16 00:00:00

Fragrance and Pollution

Details harmful nature of fragrance products in general-- to health and also the environment, by acting as both indoor and outdoor pollutants.

2002-06-01 00:00:00

Characterization of Key Aroma Compounds

Discusses different combinations of chemicals that make up the citrus aroma have different levels of potency, and thus release differently into the environment.

2002-06-26 00:00:00

Strawberry and Vanilla in Artificial Cigarettes

This patent displays how scent became incorporated into such a wide variety of products.The fact that cigarettes were given strawberry and vanilla flavoring/smell shows the popularity of fragrance-flavored products.

2002-07-25 00:00:00

Combing Product with Strawberry Scent

This invention presented a wide variety of opportunity to enhance existing flavor and fragrance combinations. In many instances, the product and the fragrance are similar, such as a strawberry fragrance added to strawberry frosting.

2002-10-28 00:00:00

Human Body's Perception of Scent

Vanilla is known to be universally appealing, but each body is affected differently depending on perceived potency.

2003-07-15 00:00:00

Safety of Synthetic Vanillin

This article discusses the biosynthesis of synthetic vanilla to discern whether it disrupts physiological pathways in humans.

2003-09-01 00:00:00

Aromatic Components of Bananas

Reveals how air temperatures have different effects on the volatile compounds and aromas within fresh bananas that were collected from different geographic areas around the world.

2004-01-01 00:00:00

Biological Factors and Chocolate

Specifically discusses chocolate and how its biological factors (such as releasing opiates) may work by simply smelling it as well. Their interest in this concept is was founded by a man and his differences in olfactory abilities.

2004-04-01 00:00:00

Mimicking Nature Through Fragrance

Demonstrates the wide variety of ways that food scents are marketed in other contexts (ex: rainforest as a fragrance) with the addition of raw vanilla.

2004-04-16 00:00:00

Strawberry Scent as an Envelope Adhesive

This patent represented using food fragrances in products other than perfumes-- like in envelope adhesives-- which shows a trend to make everything scented/flavored.

2004-11-04 00:00:00

Popularity of Vanilla

This book reveals how vanilla came into popularity and found its place in medicine, politics, food, and olfaction.

2005-01-01 00:00:00

Flavors and Scents as Trademarks

This journal article brings to attention the ways that people describe taste and scent "functionally." It relates how different consumers prefer certain distinct smells and these preferences can be observed depending on the look, sound, and feel of the trademark of the product.

2006-10-10 00:00:00

Scented Cybercartography

This research specifically cites scents like pumpkin and pumpkin pie, along with others, to have special arousing properties in men. This demonstrates another reason why these food scents are being put into perfume products.

2006-10-12 00:00:00

Fragrance Formula on Balloon Latex

This patent also revealed the wide variety of products becoming scented. The latex of balloons were being coated with many kinds of scents-- a popular one being strawberry.

2007-01-01 00:00:00

Efficient Engineering of Foods

Introduces the many ways that biotechnology can help with renewable resources and more efficient and sustainable ways to engineer food, flavor, and fragrance.

2008-01-01 00:00:00

Synthetic Food-Scents in Detergents/Soaps

This is a book that discusses specifically soaps, detergents, cleaning products, and more with synthetic food/artificial coloring. It gives a lot of detail on the chemicals and substances that make the synthetic materials and adversely affect the environment.

2008-01-01 00:00:00

Cultural and Gender Olfactory Differences

In part, this book mentions differences in Frenchmen versus Anglomen and how their preferences in scent differ according to their culture, while women are often insulted for their smells entirely.

History of Food Fragrances

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