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Why Fragrance Affects Your Mood

Dawn Mayo

The sense of smell is hard-wired to your emotions and memories, and fragrance could help you remember certain emotions or events in life. There is always a truth behind the effect of fragrance on the moods and emotions of people. Fragrance is considered an emotional drive, since sensory experiences trigger certain memories and provide pleasure as well as information to people. There is an undeniable link between fragrance and feelings and so various scents have remarkable effects on the mood of the person.


When I was a child, my grandmother made the most wonderful sour cream pound cake. I knew it was a special occasion when she baked those cakes. Sometimes, the special occasion could have simply been that my brother and I had come to visit her. I would watch her make them from scratch, and I remember wanting to make them when I grew up (which I do, by the way). However, it’s the aroma of the sour cream pound cake baking in the oven, the fragrant aroma of sugar, butter, and sour cream combined with the yummy scent of vanilla and cake that brings back the fond memories of what my grandmother’s cakes were like. The aroma brings to mind all of details, the conversations we’d have, and how she’d guide me through stirring the batter. Seeing a sour cream pound cake in the store just doesn’t bring those kind of memories.

 


Impact of Fragrance on You


According to Psychology Today, scents have positive effects on a person’s overall aura. It has the capacity to reduce stress, uplift your mood, enhance sleep, improve cognitive and physical performance, and promote self-esteem and confidence. Being more aware of the impact of specific aromas in your environment could actually further boost your well-being, promoting overall health.  Here’s how.


Fragrance and Memory


A particular scent has no personal or deeper significance unless it is linked to something or someone that has meaning in your life. The interconnection of smell and emotions is formed through a nerve connection, particularly rooted in one network of the brain structure, known as the limbic system. Scents can also help you recall certain information such as remembering the aroma of a place you have been to in the past. A fragrance can also remind you of someone who is far from you therefore, evoking memories and thoughts of someone through scent is much more powerful than merely looking at a photo. There are also fragrances closely linked to holidays and special occasions such as the smell of pines reminding you of the yuletide season and so on.


Fragrance and Physical Health


On top of the memory-inducing powers of scents, certain fragrances can also have amazing effects on the body. There are proven and tested fragrances used for aromatherapy in order to promote certain health benefits from stress relief to alleviation of headache and other pains.  Most alternative treatments highly depend on aromas to help boost the health and physical being of a person. Such is true in health spas where the place is diffused with the scents of essential oils to ensure better effects from the massage therapy.


Fragrance and their Impacts


In the modern world of aromatherapy and fragrance oils, people have already known some of the most common scents and their impact on your mood, emotions, physical and mental being. In fact, the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) devotes its attention to educating on the benefits of aromatherapy used properly. Here are some of the most popular fragrances and their effects:


  • Lavender – As the one of the most popular and highly preferred scents today, lavender is known for its relaxant properties. It can effective calm and soothe the mind and body in an instance. This scent is highly recommended for its most useful benefit which is the treatment of insomnia or common sleeping disorders. Researches in the past recorded that lavender helped ease sleeping problems as well as depression among college students, a group most prone to pressure and stress among others.
  • Pine – This scent basically decreases anxiety and lowers the level of stress and depression. Pine scents also remind you of the holiday cheers thus it is connected with joyful and pleasant nostalgia. The fragrance is discovered to result to the same feeling of relaxation and calmness.
  • Fresh-Cut Grass – The freshness of the scent is known to bring feelings of happiness and joyfulness. In fact, scent researchers recorded that a newly-mowed lawn releases a chemical that could affect a person’s mood, making him more relaxed and happy. Moreover, the aroma is also recommended for the prevention of mental decline among older people.
  • Jasmine – Although jasmine has a stunning decorative aesthetic, its floral scent is even more remarkable. Jasmine scents can ease depression as well as induce alertness in a person. Jasmine oil has a stimulating effect that leads to better and happier dispositions.
  • Peppermint – This herb is not only known to give you fresh and minty breath. Peppermint is also good for the brains, particularly in boosting one’s concentration. According to a study conducted in the Wheeling Jesuit University, the smell of peppermint motivates and improves cognitive stamina and overall performance.
  • Apples – Eating apples has its health boost and so is the smell of the crisp fruit. Research study in 2008 showed that apple scent could mitigate migraine and reduce symptoms of headache. Green apple odor is also known to control anxiety, particularly during stressful situations. It can also help manage cravings and hunger pangs thus most dieters sniff apple-scented oils as alternative to snacking.
  • Vanilla – Happiness levels are elevated with the scent of vanilla. According to the published study called Proceedings of ISOT/JASTS 2004, vanilla scent could uplift the mood and promote feelings of relaxation and joy
  • Citrus – A good alternative to a cup of coffee to pick your mood and energy up is citrus. Citrusy scents such as lemon and orange could boost your energy level and promote alertness.
  • Pumpkin – This may not be common knowledge, but a pumpkin patch could have an alluring smell especially for men. The Smell & Taste Treatment & Research Foundation released results of their study stating that 40% of male subjects have positive responses to a blend of lavender and pumpkin scents, qualifying the fragrance as a certified aphrodisiac.
  • Rosemary – The scent of rosemary, according to researchers from the University of North Umbria based in the UK, could boost the memory and alertness level of subjects in a control group study. It is one of the aromas recommended for students and professionals who need to memorize study or take a test.
  • Pink Grapefruit – This variant of fresh citrus has the capacity to influence someone’s perceptions of age. According to volunteers in a control study, those who were exposed to pink grapefruit scent perceive models in the photographs as being years younger compared to others who did not smell the scent.


The effect of fragrance on mood and the overall physiological health of a person are boundless. No wonder fragrance oils and aromatherapy are becoming more and more popular in today’s world. Enthusiasts see the natural yet effective impacts of these scents to mood elevation and more.

 

 


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