How to choose a fragrance based on your desired mood
Scent profiles are a powerful thing on the human psyche.
Don’t believe it? The proof is in the science.
Scent is shown to be the only sense that bypasses the thalamus and goes directly to the olfactory cortex.
All of the other senses that the brain processes, such as sight and sound, are processed by the thalamus.
So what does that mean? Power, that’s what.
Scents attach to memories without any effort. It’s much more automatic than anything else that the brain processes.
Research shows that smell is the only sense that is active during sleep – or even if a person is in a coma.
With all that in mind, it’s no surprise that scent profiles can have a powerful effect on our emotions and mood, oftentimes without even realizing it.
Scents and learned associations
The association humans make via smell has a lot to do with associative learning, which is the process when one event becomes linked to another because of a person’s past experience.
So, for example, if your crappy old boyfriend always wore a musky cologne, you may very well associate musky smells with that ex of yours. It may forever be tainted – and it may even put you in a bad mood if you still harbor some harsh emotions.
The good news is there’s a positive side to this phenomenon.
There’s a growing body of literature that indicates odors may affect mood, work performance and other forms of behavior. For example, people exposed to the smell of baking cookies or roasting coffee were more inclined to help a stranger than those who were not exposed to odor manipulation.
Furthermore, pleasant odors have been found to enhance vigilance when performing a tedious task.
But because these scents are learned subconsciously, what is pleasant to one person may not be pleasant to the next.
However, one thing is for sure: Scent is powerful on your overall mood. If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a general guide to shopping for scents according to your desired mood:
Scents that will calm and relax you:
Some of the most common relaxing scent profiles include:
From chamomile tea to vanilla bath bombs, people generally associate these scent profiles with warmth and relaxation.
Lavender, in particular, is sometimes considered as a treatment for some neurological disorders. It is often looked at for its positive effects on sleep, anxiety and even pain.
Be sure to have at least one relaxing scent profile on your vanity.
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Scents that will uplift you:
Scent profiles that are typically invigorating include:
- Tea tree
Citrus and minty fragrances are well known for being cheerful and uplifting. Because scent has been shown to boost productivity, everyone needs an uplifting fragrance in their life.
In one study, lemon scent caused participants to make 54 percent fewer errors when typing. Who knew smell could make you so productive and accurate?
It’s always a good idea to have an invigorating scent on hand to give you a boost when you need it most.
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Scents that will put you ‘in the mood’:
Scent profiles that are sensual include:
- Pink Pepper
Floral and woodsy profiles are often associated with sensual, romantic evenings. This category also has the greatest chance of being subject to past experiences.
However, there are studies for these scent profiles as well! One study suggests that floral scents can improve the brain in categories of memory, speech and movement.
Let’s just say that it can put you on your “A game” during your next big date night.
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