It’s no secret that certain scents evoke memories of places, time periods, and perhaps even people. With the recent boom in the use of essential oils, there’s a lot of talk about how certain scents and scent combinations can influence your mood. Is this really how it all works?
Over the years, we’ve all had the pleasure of smelling something and being reminded of the past. Chocolate chips cookies might remind you of spending time in your grandma’s kitchen when you were younger. The scent of fresh-cut grass can evoke memories of a beautiful summer day. The possibilities can be endless.
A variety of scents may make you feel happier or calmer, but it isn’t the scent itself that affects the change in mood – it’s the memory!
Aromatherapy & Your Wellbeing: The Science
Scientific American published an article regarding how odors may affect our moods, as well as our productivity. In it, Rachel S. Herz, a professor in the psychology department at Brown University had this to say:
“Odors do affect people’s 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 … We know that the neurological substrates of olfaction are especially geared for associative learning and emotional processing. The olfactory bulbs are part of the limbic system and directly connect with limbic structures that process emotion (the amygdala) and associative learning (the hippocampus). No other sensory system has this type of intimate link with the neural areas of emotion and associative learning, therefore there is a strong neurological basis for why odors trigger emotional connections.”
Because we’re all different, we all have differing associations between scent and experiences or memories. What the smell of roses or honeysuckle elicits in one person may not be the same in someone else. In fact, the chances of it being the same are likely slim. However, there are regular scents and scent combinations that many people love and use for mood boosting, whether in high-end perfume or through an aromatherapy diffuser. Some of these fragrances may also provide other benefits, too!
- Lavender may help calm your mind and help you sleep
- Citrus, including orange, lime, lemon and grapefruit, may help you feel more energized
- Peppermint not only helps freshen your breath, but may also help calm an upset stomach and invigorate your mind
- Fresh-cut grass may boost your mood by helping you feel more joyful, relaxed and calm
- Cinnamon may help boost your cognitive abilities, including concentration
Shelley Kyle offers a wide range of body lotions, scented candle gifts, perfumes and other beauty products that are available in seven different scent combinations. Each unique fragrance doesn’t only smell good, but can help you feel good, too. Give them a try today!