Mood Affecting Scents
Scent and mood are linked. Different scents can put you in different moods. Mood affecting scents can make you feel happy and invigorated or relaxed and joyful. How scent affects mood varies among individuals, while other smells are universally appreciated.
The Science Behind How Scent Affects Mood
In a previous blog post, “Memories Last Longer with Kristin and Company Soy Candles,” we discussed how scent and mood are correlated, so we won’t re-harsh it here, except to say that smell is a powerful sense that affects our emotions.
What Are the Effects of Smell?
In this post, we’ll discuss different scents and how each particular scent influences our emotions. While scent preferences can be unique to everyone, there are some universal truths when it comes to our olfactory senses.
Personal and Universal Taste
With the holidays upon us, here are some scents to consider when you’re looking for a gift that offers the recipient well-being, stress relief, or even happiness* (*Yes, you can buy it to a certain extent, though 100% estaticism not guaranteed!).
Smell What You Know
Studies show we tend to like familiarity. We favor what we know. So it should come to no surprise that people find scents that they can identify more pleasant. Expectations about smell also influence our mood. The simple expectation of a pleasing and recognizable smell (think of preparing to smell a baby’s head) can put us in a better mood.
Other fragrances are less a matter of personal taste. Most people like vanilla.
Certain aromas can have a positive affect on our sense of well-being, such as:
- Baby powder
- Freshly-cut grass
- Olive oil
Studies on green apples found the scent may help control anxiety during stressful situations.
Apples also may help get rid of migraines. In one study, participants who liked apple scents experienced a shortening of headache durations and had migraines less often.
Scent: Baby powder
Most likely, baby powder elicits a nostalgic response from you. Baby powder reminds us of childhood and being cared for or caring for our children when they were infants.
Mood: A sharp mind
Cinnamon sharpens your mind and boosts your brainpower. Researchers found that participants who smelled cinnamon improved their cognitive functions such as visual-motor response, working memory, and attention span.
Citrus is energizing and refreshing. The smell of fruit high in vitamin C also increases alertness. Lemon scents can reduce stress. Due to heavy advertising, we also associate citrus with all things clean and pleasant.
Smell the roses … or any flower in sight! Floral scents promote happiness.
Scent: Freshly-cut grass
Procrastinating on mowing the lawn? You shouldn’t! Mowing the lawn can actually be a joy! That’s right, freshly-cut grass can make you more joyful. How is your happiness elevated? It is a chemical released by the newly-mowed lawn that can make people feel relaxed and joyful.
The smell is also thought to prevent mental decline in old age.
So, go for a walk and smell your neighbors’ lawns. … Or, just buy one of our candles!
Feeling the flower power? You don’t have to be a hippie to appreciate the benefits of jasmine. Jasmine has positive effects on your mood and may help lessen depressive thoughts and elevate your mood too.
Before you go reaching for that sleeping pill, consider this: Lavender quickly calms both your mind and body. It has also been show to help treat insomnia and ease depression. Lavender is relaxing and calming.
Mood: Brain power
Can aid in stimulating the brain.
Scent: Olive oil
Studies show that olive oil satisfies your appetite. The scent alone reduced the total amount of calories participants in the study consumed. In addition, it improved blood sugar response.
Mood: Heightened concentration
Peppermint oil elevates your mood and stimulates your mind and body, and may boost concentration. A study linked peppermint to improved cognitive stamina, motivation, and performance. Because of this, it’s used as an aid for students during test taking. So, think about surrounding yourself with peppermint the next time you give a presentation at work!
Attention athletes: Studies show that athletes who smell peppermint have experienced improved overall performance.
Stressed? Of course you are! Has anyone recommended a walk in nature to ease your anxious feelings? It might not be just the fresh air and sound of birds elevating your mood. Pine has been found to alleviate stress.
Stressed by in-laws coming over to inspect your cleaning during the holidays and silently judge you? Make sure you have a real tree rather than a plastic one. Research says the smell of pine might be a contributor to reducing anxiety. One Japanese study showed that participants who walked through pine forests reported lower depression and stress levels and that study participants who suffered from anxiety felt more relaxed after smelling pine.
Not just for Halloween and Thanksgiving! Pumpkin can be an aphrodisiac. Researchers found that 40 percent of their study’s male participants responded positively to a pumpkin scent combined with lavender. Maybe it’s time to add Valentine’s Day as a holiday associated with pumpkin!
Studying for a big test? While we usually associate rosemary with providing extra pizazz to our food like pizza, the smell of rosemary also increases brainpower. Studies show the smell of the herb increased participants’ ability to remember complex events and tasks. Scientists suggest this finding could lead to a break through in treating memory loss.
Not just for blocking UV rays! Because of our associations between smell and memory, the smell of sunscreen evokes trips to the beach with family and friends, going on vacation, and having a carefree time. If you don’t check your email during vacation, this scent is sure to make you more relaxed and happy.
The ingredient you add to your cookies to bring out the flavor can also bring out a good mood. Researchers found participants in their study smelling vanilla beans experienced elevated feelings of joy and relaxation.
Let Kristin and Company Get You in the Mood
Kristin and Company has a wide assortment of mood affecting scents for nearly any mood you want to achieve. Contact us today with any questions you may have about available scents and candle sizes.
Visit our online shop and take 50% off your initial order with new registration.