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How Fragrances Impact Your Mood

Your sense of smell is the closest thing there is to magic. Find out why and how fragrances impact your mood. Discover CRANBOURN® Scents.

5 min read

Sight, sound, touch and taste are all undoubtedly important senses. Each has a crucial survival purpose, and can also bring enjoyment, wonder, relaxation and joy.

But there is no sense quite as intricate, interesting and mysterious as our sense of smell.

The olfactory bulb is the part of our brain that processes scents – and this happens extremely close to the limbic system, which deals with memory and emotion. If you have ever caught a subtle familiar scent on the breeze and been transported back to a time you barely remember, you might not find this hard to believe.

Particular scents can instantly cause excitement, disgust, calm, hunger or nostalgia, often suddenly and without warning. Our sense of smell has control over our emotions, memories, and overall health and wellbeing.

How to magically improve your mood

Throughout the turbulent and often distressing times we have all been living through, mental stability and positivity are understandably sought-after states of being.

There is no secret trick to happiness – but your sense of smell is the closest thing there is to magic.

Certain scents can trigger positive emotions and can bring on a deep state of relaxation. Aromatherapy has been a popular holistic treatment for thousands of years – and it comes as no surprise why. Lavender promotes sleep and relaxation, bergamot reduces stress, chamomile is comforting when experiencing anxiety, and citrus scents will perk you up in the mornings. Different botanicals have uniquely powerful properties to help you manipulate and control your mood.

The dark side of the power of fragrance

Every little bit of magic comes with a dark side, and fragrance is no difference. Though scent can bring on wonderfully positive emotions, it also has the power to trigger nausea, headaches and general ill health.

Our bodies’ survival instincts help us to avoid rotten foods, mould and other things that could potentially make us unwell. Our olfactory system comes into play here – if you ever catch a whiff of overflowing bins, rotting meat, mouldy fruit or something equally repulsive, your body’s reaction is instant and unpleasant.

If you spend a lot of time indoors (and at the moment, we are all spending significant time cooped up at home), make sure you regularly ventilate your rooms and let in plenty of fresh air. Buildings can have distinctively bad odours, trapped in your soft furnishings, carpet and walls. These stale smells can lead to dull moods, headaches and poor sleep over time.

The worst bit? Because you are constantly surrounded by them, you might not even notice the disagreeable smells at all.

If you feel your home may be accumulating those pesky odours, lighting a candle or investing in a fragrant diffuser is the perfect way to banish that stale feeling. When we can once again have dinner parties, and coffee mornings and host our friends and family, you want your home to smell fresh and welcoming – not musty and stuffy!

Our top tips for using scent to improve your wellbeing

It is clear that fragrance is powerful – so how can you harness that power to keep you healthy and happy in your daily life?

Looking after our mental and physical well-being has never been more crucial. There are plenty of ways you can incorporate fragrance into your routine to boost your mood.

Use bright, crisp scents like lemongrass and mint in the morning to increase your energy. You can do this with essential oil diffusers, or a piping hot cup of herbal tea.

Stay alert and focused while working from home by lighting a candle or spritzing a room spray around your space. Opt for spicy scents and botanicals like eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary and vetiver.

When it comes to mealtimes, opt for fragrant herbs, spices and richly scented foods to stimulate your senses. Delicious aromatic curries, fresh warm bread and slow-cooked stews are perfect for filling your home with a comforting fragrance.

Sink into the evenings by unwinding in a fragrant bath, or lighting a calming candle to fill your room with a grounding aroma. Think lavender, rose, ylang ylang and jasmine. Using a scented balm, cream or oil roller is a wonderful way to massage these powerful scents into your skin.

If you are intrigued by how fragrances can bounce off one another and enhance each other, delve into our journal post about Fragrance Families.

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