“Fragrances do affect people’s mood, behavior and even work performance in a variety of ways,” explains Rachel S Herz, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. “But it isn’t because scents work on us like a drug; instead, we work on them through our experiences and triggered memories."
Can scent truly uplift your mood and brighten up your day? According to researchers, it sure can. The human nose has millions of receptors that send information to the part of the brain responsible with processing emotions, so there is no surprise to find that scents can trigger memories more so than any other senses can. This is why a good fragrance is not just about how it smells, but how it makes you feel and the emotions it brings with it.
And what scents are proven to boost your mood and bring a little sunshine to your day?
1. Citrus- According to a Japanese study, smelling citrus for 10 minutes a day not only helps boost your mood, but will also increase your energy levels. Citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, limes & bergamot are known to not only uplift you, but also help alleviate anxiety and stress. Bergamot, citrus fruit originating in Italy, is highly used in fragrances for its complexity and has a sweet citrus aroma. A bergamot candle will help boost your mood while also delivering sophistication and complexity of fragrance.
2. Jasmine- described as the queen of essential oils, jasmine, with its stimulating effect on the nervous system, can help boost your mood and increase your levels of confidence. With its soft, floral aroma, jasmine brings a special lightness to your space. Stimulate the feel-good hormones in your body, such as serotonin, with a jasmine scent and enjoy the mood boosting effects.
3. Lavender- often used in aromatherapy, lavender is a go-to scent for feeling calmer, uplifted and refreshed. Burning a lavender candle while working at your desk can help with keeping focused and grounded and it's also a great companion for your daily rituals such as practicing yoga or journaling. Because of its calming effects, lavender can help aid with sleep. Light your lavender candle in the bedroom 2 hours before going to bed and the soothing aroma should help with getting a goodnight's sleep. For a quicker solution, spray your pillow with a lavender linen spray and enjoy the beautiful aroma.
4. Vanilla- this sweet and cozy aroma is one of the most commonly used in fragrances because of its warmth and complexity. The smell of vanilla is truly like a warm hug and studies have showed that smelling vanilla will lift your spirits and help with stabilizing heart rate and reduce blood pressure. "One of the most universal appealing and calming scents is vanilla," says Rachel Herz, expert in the psychological science of scent, neuroscientist, and author of "The Scent of Desire". "We associate it with being nurtured. For most everyone, it carries a positive, soothing feeling." So next time you're looking for a pick-me-up, light up that vanilla candle and let it make your day a little brighter!