Seven Scents That Will Uplift Your Mood
Have you ever wondered why specific smells or scents trigger certain memories? According to scientists, your sense of smell may actually be a better trigger than your sense of sight as the brain region that handles smells, emotions and memories is connected.
A scent is a chemical particle that enters the nose and travels into the brain’s olfactory bulbs. Here, the scent is processed before being carried to a region of the brain called the amygdala via brain cells. The amygdala is where emotions are processed. After this, it travels to the hippocampus; the region of the brain where learning and memory formation happens. What makes this process unique is that smell is the only sense that travels this way, making scents a trigger to some of your most vivid memories.
A simple waft of baked bread can evoke memories of your childhood, or a particular flower scent can remind you of an unforgettable summer gone by. This reaction to scents is typically spontaneous.
The Link Between Mood and Scent
In addition to the link between the sense and memory, smell is also highly emotive. There have been plenty of studies conducted to determine exactly what links different scents to different moods and how these scents can enhance or hinder your mood.
The perfume industry has been built around the link between scent and emotion, with many perfumers developing their fragrances to convey certain emotions or feelings, from power and confidence, to seduction, desire, relaxation and vitality, to name a few.
What are the different types of scent families?
Scents are based on personal preference and shopping for a fragrance is not as easy as simply choosing the most popular scent. It is, therefore, worth knowing what scent family is most appealing to you before going out and finding a new fragrance.
Scent families are broken up into four categories, namely floral, oriental, wood and fresh. Each of these categories is further broken down into their own subfamilies. Each scent family has its own qualities that attract different people. When choosing a personal fragrance, you will likely be attracted towards one scent family over another.
Floral – This is the most common of the scent families and is used in many popular perfumes and fragrances. Floral scents are often used in women’s perfumes, although are sometimes included in men’s fragrances and unisex fragrances as well. That said, not all women are instinctively attracted to floral aromas. Floral scents, as the name suggests, usually smell like flowers or have powdery notes.
Oriental – These are fragrances with deeper, more vibrant and exotic scents. Typically, oriental scents are associated with herbs and spices. These scents are usually quite strong and will often be softened with sweeter notes. These types of fragrances are often described as more exotic and seductive and usually work well for night-time scents.
Woods – Woody perfumes are warmer fragrances, with scents like sandalwood and patchouli coming to mind. Often, these fragrances can include fresher notes like citrus and floral, among others, to tone down the warmth of the smell. Typical words used to describe this scent family include woody, coniferous and bitter.
Fresh – These are clean, brighter scents that replicate the smell of the ocean, herbs or citrus fruits. These are more often used in male fragrances and often include spicier notes to create a stronger scent.
What is the Fragrance Wheel?
A fragrance wheel is just that – a round diagram that displays the different scent families and subfamilies. The scents are grouped together based on their similarities and differences. The wheel helps to show their relationship to one another, helping you determine the best scent to suit your needs. The scents grouped closer together have more in common than those located further from one another. Fragrance expert Michael Edwards (see images reference) created the fragrance wheel as a way to help retailers advise on the right perfumes for consumers. Each family has a prominent scent, for example, wood, followed by other subfamilies, which are blended versions of the primary scent.
Scents That Boost Your Mood
Just as certain smells can trigger memories, scents also have the power to change one’s mood, inspire productivity, affect your emotions, uplift the spirit and even improve your wellbeing. Here are some scents that have been known to lift the spirits and transform your mood.
This scent has many benefits to the human spirit. It helps with concentration and is also said to have calming effects to help ease feelings of anger and anxiety. It is also known to help when we’re feeling run down. The health properties of lemon are also worth noting as its antiviral and antibacterial properties help improve circulation and boosts the immune system to help fight colds and flu.
Peppermint can certainly help put the pep back in your step. In addition to curbing hunger and helping you feel more energised, the scent of peppermint is incredibly useful when you’re trying to concentrate. It is also said to have mood-elevating properties, which can assist in dealing with anxiety and even depression. According to some studies, sniffing peppermint is shown to improve typing accuracy and make drivers more alert. It has also been found that athletes who smelled peppermint during exercise performed better than those who did not.
Vanilla is a deliciously warm and comforting scent, making it a popular choice for home fragrances. There is really nothing like walking into a home to the smell of vanilla wafting through the kitchen. But vanilla is more than just a sweet smell. According to studies, people who smell vanilla feel happier and more relaxed. In aromatherapy, vanilla is used to relax the mind and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
If you’re looking to relax, try lavender as this delightful scent is known to slow the heart rate and calm the nervous system. Essential oil experts swear by lavender to treat insomnia, anxiety, allergies and even help with nausea. It is one of the most versatile scents there is, with its soothing properties assisting in relieving stress and tension. Lavender has also been found to improve sleep quality and duration and so is a recommended option for those in search of a good night’s rest.
Similar to lavender, jasmine is a lovely fragrance that is often used to calm nerves and improve feelings of optimism and confidence and revitalise energy. It is also commonly used as an antidepressant.
According to those in the know, rosemary is the morning pick-me-up we all need. Rosemary is said to have stimulating properties that help fight physical exhaustion and mental fatigue. It is also known to improve memory retention and can even be used topically to relieve aches and pains of the muscles.
Aside from being an excellent addition to any pastry, cinnamon has properties that can help fight mental fatigue, improve concentration and sharpen your attention span. When sniffed, cinnamon is also said to reduce drowsiness and irritability, making it one of those scents that act as the perfect pick-me-up at any time of the day.
Fine Fragrance Tips
There are many things that can be learnt about scents and fragrances. To help get the most out of your fragrance, we’ve offered some fine fragrance (Link to Fine Fragrance Hacks for a Longer Lasting Scent) tips, from applying it correctly, to storing tips and more.
The Power of Perfume
A scent has the power to do many things - it helps you feel sexy and confident, can elevate your mood and trigger memories and emotions. People use scents in their home for certain calming and welcoming effects, while the power of perfume (link to The Power of Perfume article) can boost self-confidence, highlight individuality or evoke certain memories or experiences. That’s why it is so important to choose a fragrance that enhances your life in every way.
Knowing what scents impact your mood can certainly be helpful. Using this to your advantage can not only help you use different fragrances to evoke certain memories, but use them to elicit a certain feeling or emotion as well. Using different scents in the home or workplace can encourage productivity or relaxation, with air fresheners and diffusers being popular and affordable options.
Try out different scents and take note of how they make you feel when you breathe them in. This will give you a good idea of what scents evoke what feelings and emotions and how they may impact your mood. So, when you want to feel a certain way, whether it is more confident, more calm or more productive, you will know exactly what fragrances and scents can help.
Fragrances like Boity Pink Sapphire, the new signature eau de parfum from Halo Heritage, offers a balance of floral and mineral notes that aligns sensuality with strength, heart with mind and past with future. Even incorporating the scent with a hair fragrance, like the Elite Hair Perfume, can do wonders not just for the health of your hair, but by creating a lasting impression.