The power of scent

Sit back, sniff, and relax. Scent is known to be the most powerful of all the senses.

By Greer Krige, Lifestyle Content Creator

It is linked to memories because the part of the brain where scents are received is close to where memories are stored- hence the sense of nostalgia often felt with a particular smell. If I catch a whiff of Chanel Chance I’m transported back to my varsity days. And the scent of roses takes me back to my childhood and memories of my aunt’s impressive rose garden in Zimbabwe.

Also interesting is that women are believed to have a more powerful sense of smell than men.

Scent can affect our moods to some degree, one person might love sweet rose scents and another prefers fresh citrus or musky woody scents and so if you surround yourself with scents you love then you will improve your mood and feel happier.

Ways to do so include burning your favourite scented candle. I love that I can smell the handmade vanilla candle on my desk even when it’s not a light and then when I feel I need an extra pick me up, I light it to enhance the scent.

Room and linen mists are amazing for scenting a space, as are diffusers, which have so many options. Fragrances are generally categorized as either floral (flowers and fruit), fresh (citrus, green), woody (musky, mossy, aromatic ), and oriental (spicy, complex); although there are overlaps and combinations.

The following scents are most notable for influencing mood:

Lemon/citrus/peppermint is fresh and clean and believed to enhance the sense of energy, stimulating and aid concentration, definitely needed on Monday morning! Keep handy at the office!

Lavender (and to a small degree jasmine) the ultimate relaxation aid regarded as such since ancient times. This scent calms, de-stresses, and is excellent for insomnia - sufferers. It’s actually shown to slow the heart rate so spritz some lavender pillow spray before you climb into bed and breathe deeply. 

Cinnamon reduces drowsiness and irritability so if you sense a bad mood coming on taking a whiff of a cinnamon incense cube or even better, rustle up some pancakes! 

These days scent masters have become so creative they’ve blended scents to instil a sense of a trip to the bush in a ‘safari inspired’ scent or a ‘seaside inspired’ scent evoking the familiar under notes of sun lotion, fresh waves, and hot sand. These scents instantly transport you to these places and create a relaxed holiday sensation, precisely what you need after a tough 9-5 at the office! 

So if you need a pick me up or a mood elevator, burn that lemongrass candle, spritz that peppermint room spray and inhale! 

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