You instantly feel refreshed when you walk into a cafe and smell the coffee brewing. When it rains, the earthy smell spreads around, which often evokes different emotions. Similarly, smelling flowers can sometimes improve your mood. All of this happens because scents have a direct impact on our minds.
We use fragrances in our daily lives but don’t pay enough attention to how they can affect our mood, feelings, and overall mental health. But there’s a deep connection between scents and psychology, and there’s even a field dedicated to its study called Aromachology.
You’ve probably already heard about aromatherapy and how it can help improve body and mental health.
Wearing perfume, lighting candles, and melting scented wax are all the different ways you can use the power of fragrance for your mental wellbeing.
How Fragrance Impacts Your Mind
Our sense of smell plays a vital role in our mood, thought processes, and subsequently, actions as well. It’s the job of olfactory receptors, of which we have over 300, to detect smells and help the brain process them.
Extensive research has shown that scents produce physiological changes in the brain, which can impact mood, level of stress, and even cognitive and working capacities. For instance, a study conducted in Japan found that by using lemon scent diffusers, workplace productivity increased by 54%.
Another study found that the smell of coffee resulted in a boost in performance in a maths test. This is probably not surprising as many of us drink coffee or tea in the morning to wake up our minds and bodies. But in this study, they only tested the smell, which goes to show that even smelling coffee can sharpen our cognitive skills.
Similarly, certain smells have a calming impact on our senses. For instance, the fragrance at a spa has a relaxing effect on the brain. It’s usually floral scents that deliver such an impact, so the physiological and psychological changes depend on the particular scent too.
The interesting thing is that impact of scents on the brain is also very personalized. Our brains associate scents with memories of places, people, or things, kind of like a diary. Whenever we smell that particular scent again, all those memories come back.
At the same time, even though smells have a personalized impact, many fragrances have the same effect on everyone. This is because of how we are exposed to those smells as a society. For instance, the smells of fresh herbs or lemon have a similar effect of freshness on most of us.
Scents and Their Effects on Mind
Whilst scents do help with our mental well being, their exact effect can vary. For instance, some fragrances can calm and relax your nerves, whereas some can energize the brain. Some can even evoke emotions and make you feel more romantic or charitable.
Knowing the particular effect of certain scents can help you use them well in your life and do a little ‘you’ time.
Fruity and Citrusy Scents (Energizing Effect)
Fruity scents, especially citrusy scents like lemon or grapefruit, usually pack quite a punch. These fragrances have an uplifting and energizing impact on our minds and senses. As a result, you feel like you’re ready to take on any challenge. Such smells are usually quite strong, so their effect is also quick.
Fruity scents, especially citrus ones, are best for daytime when you need to be more productive.
Floral Scents (Stress-Relieving and Calming Effect)
There is just so much variety when it comes to floral fragrances that it’s hard to pinpoint the exact impact a fragrance may have on your mind. It could be very specific if you have any memories associated with a particular flower. However, generally, floral scents deliver a calming effect.
Scents like lavender, daisies, and lotus can all help relieve stress in your mind and in your body. Some floral fragrances combine both calming and energizing effects at the same time. Roses, for instance, may awaken your senses and improve your mood as well.
Floral scents are also great for creating a romantic ambience, as many people associate flowers with affection and love.
Earthy and Woody Scents (Grounding Effect)
Scents like sandalwood, cedarwood, and cinnamon have woody, earthy notes that promote a feeling of strength that stems from deep inside.
Grounding is actually a psychotherapy exercise, which involves activities that help reconnect with Earth. In other words, it helps bring a person to reality and promote acceptance.
Woody and earthy scents have a similar grounding impact, allowing the person to feel rooted and strong. These fragrances can be helpful in times of self-doubt and stress.
Tips on Using Scents for Mental Wellness
We all can get stressed from time to time. We all have those days when there’s so much on the to-do list but no energy or motivation to get out of bed. And we all need a little reminder that everything will be fine. Perhaps, creating a fragrant ambience around you can do just that!
You can use wax melts to spread beautiful scents in your home or workspace and take advantage of those scents. Whether you’re feeling stressed out or lazy, using some fragrant wax melts can quickly enhance your mood and help you make the best of the day ahead of you.
From time to time, put everything on hold, and do some self-care. Throw your favourite wax melts or crumbles into the wax melter, light the tea lights, and then play some music, take a warm bath, read a book, or write your thoughts in a diary. Let the scents relax you, ground you, and inspire you!
Always keep your living and working space smelling good, as that will promote a positive mindset. A calmer mind can function way better and get more done than one that’s riddled with stress and anticipation.
If you’re looking to use scents for mental wellness, try Scent Sational Wax Melts and Crumbles that come in a wide range of fragrances. Find your go-to and use the power of fragrance to live your best life!