For hundreds of years, people have believed that scents have the power to boost your mood, health, and well being. Now, a scientific study has proved that this is the case.
Parts of our brain that process smell, memory, and emotions are closely related, and scents can affect our brainwaves in powerful and measurable ways according to a recent article.
Lavender for example helps with a cognitive performance for our mood and sleep and also as a muscle relaxant and migraine reliever. This happens due to the lavender’s pleasant smell leading to a positive emotional response. Evidence also suggests that physiological effects, including the scent interacting with brain receptors and neurotransmitters to promote relaxation.
Country Living wrote “Aromachology is the study of the influence of odours on human behaviour,” he told Mail Online. “Using memory association we can pair certain smells to different emotions.
“For example, if you have felt most relaxed whilst on holiday, the smells you have experienced at that very moment can be replicated at home and help trigger a similar sense of calm.”
Their top six scents to choose are Sea Breeze, This fragrance is linked to holiday time and relaxation. Because of this association it is great for soothing an overactive and worried mind.
Ylang, Ylang, Perfect for soothing an argument, ylang ylang is known for its relaxing properties. “The pure essential oil of these blossoms has been found to aid issues of palpitations, anxiety, depression, and high blood pressure.
Lavender, which I have already written about and is a very popular choice.
Lemon, Citrus scents work wonders at calming work stress. Lemon and other citrus fragrances improve concentration and have calming properties.
Grassy Notes, A lot of people love the smell of freshly cut grass as it reminds them of happy, summer days. This is why scents with grassy notes can have a positive impact on your mental state. A hectic shopping trip can be helped with this specific smell.
And finally, Rosemary, A stressful supermarket shop can be eased by rosemary. It can improve your memory and reduce feelings of mental and physical tiredness due to its stimulating properties.
When designing your own therapeutic garden, think about whether you want an area for relaxation, which might include planting some of the above or marjoram, or damask rose or an area to increase your concentration so you could then add peppermint or a trellis of jasmine.
I have just planted a row of lavender just under my dining room window which is near my front door as I thought a smell coming into the house of lavender would be lovely as well as smelling it while dining. As usual, here are a number of books available on this but my favourite which I bought recently is the RHS Your Wellbeing Garden by Professor Alistair Griffiths and award-winning garden designer Matt Keightley.
Learn how connecting with nature can reduce stress and improve wellbeing. You don’t even need a garden – even a balcony or houseplants can help to boost your mood. Every recommendation is backed by scientific research, drawn together by the team of RHS scientists and experts. Favourite garden designer at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show Matt Keightley then suggests how to translate the science into ideas for your green space.
With this groundbreaking book, find out how, in sometimes very simple ways, you can create an outdoor space that nourishes your mind and body, and is good for our planet too.