As humans, smell is the first of our senses that is activated when we’re born. So it’s no wonder that smells can have a profound effect on our everyday lives. We have the capability of distinguishing between thousands of scents every day, but just how do smells affect our moods?
Aromatherapists have long since championed the power of scents, but it’s now proven by science that smell can have a huge effect on our behaviour. Research shows that every breath we take is saturated with an extraordinary amount of olfactory information. Each day, we breathe about 23,040 times and move around 438 cubic feet of air. In the time we take to inhale and exhale, molecules of odour flood through our systems, coating us, swirling around us, entering our bodies and emanating from us. These smells can have specific psychological reactions that are related to our past experiences and the way our brain ties things together.
If you’ve ever walked into a crowded room and felt a pang of emotion related to a specific scent that reminds you of your ex, your Grandfather or of a time in your childhood, you’ve had a first hand testimony to the power of smell. Or if the smell of apples instantly reminds you of your Grandmother’s apple pie, you too are experiencing what is called associative learning.
These nostalgic scents aren’t just a coincidence, there’s a science behind why we are personally affected by certain aromas. Psychologist Breanna Jayne Sada from leading telehealth provider, Lysn, explains:
“Scents can effect everything from people’s moods through to their work performance, even down to the way we view brands and the purchasing decisions we make. Our feelings that are evoked from smells are usually developed from past associations which stems from our experiences with them – that is, in order for a scent to elicit any sort of response, we have to first learn to associate it with an event or situation. This is known as associative learning and is the way our brains tie things together like when an item or event is linked to another because of past experience.”
Various scents can trigger different responses and what’s perhaps the most extraordinary is that scent can lodge itself in our long term memory system in our brains, as seen when a scent reminds us of a time long ago.
When it comes to the short term, scents can be used to powerfully affect and change our moods. Research shows that smells have an intrinsic ability to influence our emotions, cognition and our health. Simply inhaling a fragrance can activate the area in the brain that sends signals to other parts of the body, thus causing various changes to our moods. See below how certain fragrances can affect your mood and wellbeing:
* Citrus smells such as lemon, lime and orange can increase your energy, offering the perfect natural pick me up.
*Lavender has a calming effect, aiding in sleep deprivation and psychical relaxation.
*Vanilla can help to elevate moods and evoke feelings of joy and relaxation.
*Jasmine helps with depression and anxiety by uplifting moods and enhancing confidence, optimism and energy.
*Frankincense reduces feelings of depression and anxiety, promotes calmness and relation.
*Lemon and Jasmine together can enhance cognitive performance.
*Cinnamon can help fight mental fatigue and improve concentration, sharpening the mind and awakening the senses.
*Chamomile is said to relieve depression and encourage relaxation, thus being perfect for easing sleep deprivation.
*Ylang ylang is considered an effective antidepressant, by working to lift a mood.
*Peppermint has been linked to invigoration, more energy and boosting concentration, whilst also assisting in elevating moods.
Try these delightful fragrance heavy products to have a positive effect on your mood:
Awaken your senses with Lux Aestiva’s luxury scents, featuring a beautiful range of incense sticks hand rolled at the base of The Himalayas. Lux Aestiva’s Incense Sticks are perfect for creating a luxurious fragrance throughout the home, just by burning the end and letting it flow.
Offering up to 2 months of scent life, Wilds Home Ylang-Ylang and Geranium Room Diffuser is the perfect way to add constant fragrance to your home, with the ylang-ylang scent evoking an energised mood, ideal for when you feel tired or drained.
Palm Beach Collection’s Coconut and Lime Candle offers an intoxicating aroma that will act as a natural pick me up, invigorating moods and increasing energy. This divine fragrance will permeate your home, as the candle burns slowly and offers up to 80 hours of burn time.
Lux Aestiva’s Wildflower Oil for the Body contains key scent Frankincense which can help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, whilst having a calming effect on your mood. Lux Aestiva’s Wildflower Oil for the Body contains precious oils which work in harmony to promote a youthful, radiant glow from head to toe. Nutrient dense, yet lightweight, Lux Aestiva’s Wildflower Oil for the Body promotes healing whilst nourishing the deepest layers of the skin. A powerful combination of oils create the ultimate skincare must-have that works to balance and regulate your mood.
Wilds Home Sea Salt and Lily Classic Candle is the perfect combination of scents, lifting spirits with the aroma of lilies and sea salt reminding of the perfect ocean breeze to sooth your soul. Offering up to 50 hours of burn time, Wilds Home Candles are the ultimate addition to any home.
The Cleanse Collection, a gentle, yet powerful cleansing soap, signalling that the old fashioned bar soap might be making a come back. Here to change the way you’ve ever thought about soap, Lux Aestiva’s Cleanse Collection is made from a divine range of natural ingredients, specifically the Orange and Greek Yoghurt option that is free of any nasty ingredients and like perfume in a soap, its aromas of calendula & chamomile infused with olive oil, coconut oil, shea butter and an essential oil blend of greek yoghurt, red oxide, orange mica and pink sea salt make it evoke feelings of calm and relaxation.
LUX AESTIVA CLEANSE COLLECTION ORANGE AND GREEK YOGHURT SOAP | 110GM for RRP$18.00 | Available at www.luxaestiva.com
An intoxicating mix of Jasmine, Lily of the valley, Cyclamen, Rosewood, Musk, Sandalwood and Amber, Palm Beach Collection’s Posy Candle is a treat for all your senses, offering up to 80 hours of burn time.