With these trying times causing changes in our lives and schedules, it is normal to have increased feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. Whether it is working from home, taking care of children and pets, or worrying about an uncertain future, we can all use a way to boost our mood or reduce stress and anxiety. One method proven to affect our mood positively is through the power of scent and smell.
According to Theresa Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute, the educational and research arm of the Fragrance Foundation, “Scents can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self-confidence, and physical and cognitive performance,”
The Science Behind Scents:
When we inhale fragrance, these scents go straight to our brains, where the neurological effect can alter our moods. Fragrances trigger areas in our brain that relate to our emotions; so, selecting candles based on scent can be the perfect way to improve your mood, reduce anxiety, fatigue, or loneliness.
Let's start with the technical stuff. The olfaction process starts with the Olfactory Bulb, which is inside the nose and receives smells. The Olfactory Bulb then passes through the part of the brain called the Limbic System, which includes the Hippocampus and Amygdala. This is the "primitive" part of your brain that deals with our feelings rather than the intellectual side of our mind. It controls our emotions, moods, behavior, and, most importantly, memories. This part of our brain is also responsible for learning; therefore, every new scent links to a particular event, thing, or person. Explaining why we connect specific memories to scents. Research at Toronto University suggests that memories triggered by smells tend to be more clear, intense, and emotional than the memories that derive from other senses. Smells can impact almost everything such as our emotions, stress, pain, concentration, memory, romance, and dreams! For example, when flower scents are present before sleep, people experience more positive dreams than other unpleasant odors or no odors.
The Benefits of Scents and Candles:
Now that we know how scents affect our brains let's talk about the benefits to scents. We already know that they can help us have pleasant dreams, which can improve our sleep and directly impact our overall mood. Try being excited about work after waking up all night because of that nightmare you kept having. It's not easy. Therefore, scented candles have the power to do much more than you think. Naturally, we are drawn to things we believe smell good. These things, in turn, make us feel good!
Here are 5 benefits of candles and their ability to:
- Improve Your Mood
- Elevate Your Happiness
- Relieve Stress
- Increase Focus & Alertness
- Soothe Irritation
However, our noses are all different, and we usually are very particular about what we like and what we don't. Especially our fellow candle snobs out there! Finding the right scent for you is vital to creating not only the perfect aesthetic but the right mood to conjure.
Which Scent Is Right For You:
To answer which scent is right for you, you've got to ask yourself what you are looking for in a candle or fragrance.
Here's A List of 6 Types of Scents And How They Will Support Your Vibe:
- Elevates your happiness level
- Promotes feelings of relaxation and joy
- Often connect to childhood memories
- Promotes a calming vibe
- Helps relieve stress, depression, anxiety, nervous disorders
- Assists you when trying to fall asleep
Overall, lavender is your best friend when you need a good night's rest or some relaxation. If you were lucky enough to score one of our limited edition Destin candles, you can experience its notes of calming lavender with wood sage. Now sold exclusively at Southern Living Stores.
Citrus (Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange):
- Can brighten up your day
- Gives you a clean and fresh feeling
- Helps you stay focused and level-headed
- Help with exhaustion and fatigue
- Positive effect on nerves
- Gain alertness
Whether it is winter time or not, cinnamon is always helpful when looking for a pick-me-up!
- Relaxing and Calming
- Can help soothe irritation
- Often used in meditation and to create ambient settings
Wood scents are always an easy way to calm your nerves and help you create your desired aesthetic. Next time you are in a meditative mood, light one of our Cap-d'Ail, Cayman, Formentera, Malibu Beach, or Montauk candles.
- Help formulate positive dreams and help with sleep
- Can balance female hormones
- Calming, Sweet, and Fresh
We also came up with an easy chart of our scents and their specific notes to help ease some of these issues.