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The power of scent


The act of smelling – sense of smell

Unlike any other sense, our sense of smell links directly to our limbic system, the area of the brain most closely associated with memory and emotion.

Every day we are permanently linking our experiences to smell, which will continue to evoke emotional responses within us for ever.  Do you remember the first time you walked into someone’s home and was blown away by the scent? Or certain scents trigger memories of loved ones? This is why. 

A lingering waft of scent can transport us to another time and place with extraordinary vividness as our sense of smell is directly connected to the limbic system, the primitive part of our brain where emotions and memories are stored and processed.

Fragrance and memory are clearly intertwined: whether it is the pervasive herby aromas of a first Mediterranean holiday, the woody scents of an autumn evening, the exotic smell of spices simmering in your grandmother’s kitchen, or the perfume worn by your first girlfriend.

Fragrances do more than stimulate memory and desire, they can also affect our behaviour in the present moment, triggering a physiological response. Many fragrances possess strong associative properties, and work easily to alter the mood, promoting increased alertness and positivity, or creating feelings of calm, tranquillity and relaxation. They can be helpful in alleviating stress, easing insomnia, providing clarity and focus. Refreshing and revitalising scents include: orange, citrus, grapefruit, lemon, lime, cypress, eucalyptus, peppermint, pine, tea tree, thyme. Calming and relaxing scents include: vanilla, lavender, sandalwood, rosewood, frankincense, neroli, chamomile and jasmine.

which scents do you find calming or uplifting? We would love to hear from you. 

Sarah x