Of your five primary senses, it is the perception of smell that elicits a profoundly strong emotional response like no other. Natural perfume ingredients can stimulate the deepest part of your brain, triggering deep-seated memories or an emotional reaction.
Your body’s ability to respond to fragrance naturally is because your olfactory receptors are directly linked to your limbic system — the part of your brain responsible for dealing with emotions and memory.
This is why smell sensations like freshly baked cookies or freshly mown grass or the smell of rain can evoke particular memories. Not only does this connection happen spontaneously, certain scents can be used to activate positive feelings and emotions while also reducing stress and improving mood.
According to a leading cosmetic fragrance supplier, here are six scents that can help you enhance your sense of well-being.
It’s often said that when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But rather than lemonade, consider using this vibrant fruit for aromatherapy.
Several medical studies have shown that the scent of lemon may help decrease anxiety, relieve nausea, and boost your brain power.
Aside from aromatherapy, lemons are also a proven-effective natural cleaning product and power detox tonic. As a cleaning agent, lemons act in a way that’s similar to vinegar. The acidity of lemons has strong antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
This makes it ideal for cleaning numerous household surfaces — from glass to countertops. Though it’s important to note that lemons are not a disinfectant. Adding lemon juice to other natural household cleaners will ensure you’re not only able to remove those dangerous microbes but also achieve a fresh scent in the process.
To realize its detox benefits, place a few thin slices of lemon into a water pitcher or your glass. You can also squeeze some lemon juice into a glass of water.
For many years, this native North African and Mediterranean herb has been used to treat anxiety and other related conditions, as well as insomnia and restlessness.
A study done by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice tested lavender’s sedative effect on adult patients waiting for their dental appointment. The patients who sat in a waiting room exposed to lavender scent reported a lower state of anxiety than those who sat in a non-scented room.
Luckily, you don’t need to visit a dentist to experience the calming effect of lavender. Lavender oil can be used in an aromatherapy diffuser, or blended with a carrier oil like sweet almond and massaged onto skin.
Sprinkling a few drops of lavender oil onto your pillow used in a diffusing oil can be an effective remedy in inducing sleep and improving your overall sleep quality. There are also lavender supplements to consider.
Consult your healthcare provider first to ensure the supplement doesn’t negatively interact with other medications you may be taking.
Another aromatic herb, peppermint has been used for thousands of years for its many health benefits.
Whether you choose to have peppermint as a tea, oil extract, or supplement, the most common studied benefits of peppermint include:
● Reducing daytime fatigue
● Relieving GI discomfort
● Treating tension headaches and migraines
● Inducing a relaxation effect
It should be noted that while peppermint oil is generally safe, certain side effects could occur to people with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency and those taking certain prescription medications. The use and application of peppermint oil can also negatively affect children and babies.
Peppermint oil is also toxic to pets, like dogs and cats.
An aromatic flower originating from the Himalayas, jasmine is considered a natural remedy for several ailments and illnesses. The flower’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties can help boost your body’s mood-enhancing neurotransmitters like serotonin.
The two primary ways to reap the medicinal and therapeutic properties of jasmine are by drinking jasmine tea or by using jasmine oil in aromatherapy.
When supplemented with green tea, jasmine can help boost your metabolism, mental alertness, and short-term memory. Research also indicates that jasmine tea has been linked to reduced risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
As an extract or essential oil, jasmine’s floral fragrance may be an effective, natural home remedy in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms. There is also some evidence to show that jasmine can have a calming effect, making it a natural sedative for people with insomnia or other elevated states of mind.
Characteristically described as woody, spicy, and sensuous, patchouli is a popular scent additive for a wide range of applications — from perfumes and aromatherapy to cosmetics and cleaning products.
Cultivated in several tropical regions for hundreds of years, patchouli began its widespread usage in the aforementioned applications in the 1960s.
Patchouli oil is known to possess therapeutic properties related to stress, anxiety, pain relief, and restlessness. Patchouli oil also has strong insecticidal properties, making it an effective remedy against mosquito bites, houseflies, and several species of ants.
Like any other essential oil, you should first consult with a qualified healthcare provider before using patchouli oil.
Like the other plants and herbs on this list, vetiver is a natural scent used for various purposes. Its distinct earthy scent makes it ideal for men’s cologne, but vetiver is also used to treat various ailments and illnesses.
As an aromatherapy agent, vetiver can be effective in treating nervousness, stress, stomach pain, and muscle and joint pain.
There is also some anecdotal evidence pointing to vetiver’s ability to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as it improves alertness and decreases mental fatigue. Though, more research is required to prove vetiver’s efficacy as an ADHD treatment option definitively.
Like patchouli, vetiver is also useful as an insect repellent, being highly toxic to ticks, lice, and mosquitos.
Whether it’s at the workplace or at home, finding the right scents can be an effective productivity and mental boost hack. Not only will you start feeling refreshed and energized, you also create a more welcoming, aromatic environment.
And the best part about using aromatherapy to enhance your well-being is that scents are readily available. Simply add your favorite scent(s) to an electric diffuser and enjoy their therapeutic benefits.
Lamia Rochdi is the Marketing Manager at Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA. A successful family-owned business, Bell’s core competencies include customized solutions for the food and beverages industry, the household and personal care sector, and the perfume industry.