We are a species in constant need of immediate gratification. Nothing is slow anymore. Nothing is a process. The espresso machine seems to sense we’re tired before our eyelids dim. Our thumbs know we’re bored before our brain does.The fridge door swings open before our stomach rumbles. Yes indeed, the human race have surrounded themselves with devices and gadgets to alleviate and change every mood or urge as quickly and with as little effort as possible.
Dips and deviations in mood, though, can be addressed more naturally. Yes, we’re talking about the great healing properties of smell. In short, the power of aroma should not be underestimated. Simply lighting a candle or burning an essential oil is one way to transform your mood almost instantly; taking in an aroma can can affect you in 3-7 minutes, working on both an emotional and physical level. Here are 5 IDEAL scents to transform your mood and transport you elsewhere.
IDEAL FOR AN ENERGY BOOST: CITRUS
Oranges, lemons and limes, even yuzu; aren’t just good for eating and drinking.The smell of citrus fruit, particularly when being zested, has been shown to give us a boost of energy and, erm, zest. What’s more, it’s also said these wonder fruits promote the body’s production of serotonin, the happy chemical in our brains. And they’re thought to improve cognitive performance – incredible.
If don’t fancy zesting a piece of fruit every time you want the aroma, consider a citrus scented candle, such as this gorgeously fragrant grapefruit candle from WIFF. Made in Britain from high quality wax, their selection of luxury scents are perfect for soothing, calming or energising, or simply making the house look great; whatever your need, they’ve got you covered.
IDEAL FOR BRING HAPPINESS: FRESHLY CUT GRASS
In a survey of favourite smells, freshly cut grass so often comes out on top, evoking memories of summers spent throwing a frisbee, of August barbeques and of Wimbledon. But, the reasons behind the cause of the pleasing smell are a little less innocent. The much lauded aroma is in fact the distress signal of a dying, desperate plant as it gets slain by a lawnmower. Hmmm. We think it’s better to put that explanation to the back of your mind, and if you do need to unwind, just get the mower out of the shed and get cutting; proven to destress and elevate your mood.
IDEAL FOR RELAXATION: JASMINE AND LAVENDER
Essential oils in jasmine and lavender offer a wonderfully soothing scent that have calming properties, perfect to help us unwind and even induce sleep. Scientific studies have pointed to the sedative effects of both these wonder plants; with jasmine said to aid a restful night’s sleep and lavender offered as a cure for insomnia. That’s a ringing endorsement of its relaxing qualities, if ever there was one. Placing a plant next to your bed, then, or making use of the essential oils through lighting a candle, or even drinking a jasmine tea, is a great way to unwind.
IDEAL FOR NOSTALGIA: SUNSCREEN OR PINE
Smell and nostalgia are inextricably linked; all of us have caught a whiff of something or someone and been transported back to our childhood, to memories of a happy place. Two of the most evocative smells are those associated with holiday related happiness. The aroma of pine elicits Christmassy feelings; that feeling of warmth and togetherness of the festive period. Pine is so soothing and nostalgic, in fact, that the Japanese have a whole, meditative practice – called ‘forest bathing’ – based around soaking up its scent and relaxing. And then there’s the smell of sunscreen. We’ve all caught a whiff of someone slathered in the stuff, ready to tan, and been transported back to childhood holidays, with all the excitement and anticipation they bring. A smell for winter, a smell for summer; aroma is one versatile beast.
IDEAL FOR FEELING SECURE: BABY POWDER
Still with the nostalgia here; catching the smell of baby powder can bring us feelings of security; inducing a primal sense of being protected and feeling safe. That’s before we even get into the power of a newborn baby’s scent; said to be as addictive and captivating as food or drugs. Smell is such a strong force here as it reinforces the need to protect and provide for your little one.