So much of the power of scent is so thrilling, and it’s one of the least-explored of the senses for many. Today, I’m so excited to share more about the power of scent- it’s one of the most magical to explore!
Scent can affect your memory, your mood, your perception and awareness… Oh, it’s so much amazingness!
The Power of Scent Is Awesome
“Scents can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self-confidence, and physical and cognitive performance.” – Theresa Molnar, Executive Director of the Sense of Smell Institute
Our sense of smell is believed to be the first sense developed, and this process begins before birth, in our mother’s womb. It is no wonder why then, we are a species that revolves many of our decisions, consciously or unconsciously on how something smells. There are scented products all around us from bath soap, to laundry detergent, glass cleaners, etc and we choose the most appealing to our olfactory palate. We light scented candles and incense to gain comfort or sometimes stimulation. Our mind makes strong associations or memories with certain scents, and our perception of the associated memory guides how the scent makes us feel (mood). Some one may love the smell of hay because it reminds them of their good old childhood years, while others may find this smell repugnant.
Scents are first received by the olfactory bulb, which begins in the nose. The olfactory bulb is connected to two regions of our brain, amygdala (emotion) and the hippocampus (memory). For all our other senses, sensory information is sent straight to the thalamus (which makes us conscious of the sense). But for olfaction, it passes through other regions of the brain first, associated with memory and emotion, meaning the information is being processed before we’re aware of it. You can learn more about this here.
Rachel Herz, a Brown University neuroscientist, believes that since memory and smell are so tightly interwoven, scents can help recall information. Her research suggests that if you are wearing a specific scent when absorbing information, for say a test, your memory recall will be higher if you wear that same scent. You can read more of this study here.
Hendrick Schifferstein from Delft University of Technology and colleagues decided to test the effect of smell on people attending nightclubs in this study. They infused the air with the scents of oranges, seawater, and peppermint. The results found that people danced more, rated the night as more enjoyable, and even thought the music was better…as opposed to when there was no added scent.
Studies have shown that you can smell someone’s age! This study will blow your mind. Johan Lundstrom, an assistant professor at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute conducted a study asking volunteers to wear the same t-shirt to bed five nights in a row after showering with unscented products. The shirts were then placed in jars and subjects were asked to give an age range of the person who wore the shirt. Subjects guessed the correct age, higher than chance level.
You can try putting together your own personal scent!
8 oz distilled water
1tbls witch hazel
20-30 drops essential oil or oils of your choice
8 oz spray container, you can order HERE.
Simply place all the ingredients in the container and shake well.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Energize – grapefruit and mint
Confidence – orange and rosemary
Calming – lavender and chamomile
Layering your house in the natural fragrances that feel great will be a whole new level of architecture…and a whole big brilliant rush of wonderfulness.
Enjoy the space you create!
Welcome to Creating Genius!
I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.
And… As a special bonus when you get the e-guide– a bonus that thrills me!— I’m leading a private Creating Genius + Artist’s Way Group for all of you, to guide you online through twelve weeks of creative awesomeness this year!
Gather up your magic & make gorgeous dreams come true!