Day in, day out, our senses are assailed by a multitude of aromas. Some pleasant, and some quite frankly, we would rather do without. As infants, smell is the first sense we develop. Our noses have up to six million odor-detecting cells with olfactory bulbs being part of the limbic system and directly connected to the areas of the brain that process emotion and learning.
Huge amounts have been invested in pinning down the scents that will prompt us to stay longer, spend enthusiastically and even come back for more. But, marketing ploys aside, what do nature’s fragrances do for us?
Calm Us Down:
- Lavender has a soothing, relaxing effect and is widely used to promote sleep. It is also said to improve memory.
- The perfume of roses harbors an anti-depressant quality and reduces anxiety and stress.
- Night-blooming honeysuckle is known to be a good stress reliever and has an uplifting aroma, add it to your garden or balcony!
- The scent of green apple can ease anxiety and stress and has been attributed to relief of neck and shoulder cramps.
Lift Our Mood:
- Vanilla has the ability to reduce stress and anxiety and has been found to possess aphrodisiac properties as well.
- Gardenia is a top pick for creating a sensual, romantic atmosphere – mark this down for Valentine’s Day.
- Jasmine is said to encourage confidence, optimism and revitalized energy.
- Chocolate is an all-time favorite aroma that impacts the theta brain waves, triggering relaxation.
- Citrus smells have both a calming and energizing effect. If you need to focus on a task and stay alert and productive, a spritz of lemon, clementine or orange in the air should do the trick. The smell of orange is claimed to ease tension and aggression as well.
- Try diffusing peppermint oil as an energy booster, or to clear a headache. This scent invigorates the mind, promotes concentration and stimulates clear thinking.
- Even the smell of coffee can boost our brainpower. Good to know if you are watching your caffeine intake.
- Cinnamon reduces drowsiness and irritability, so makes a great pick-me-up when you diffuse it in your workplace or study space.
When you need a change of mood, be lead by your nose. It’s that simple!