The power of scents – how smells affect our life

In our daily life, we are surrounded by fragrances that affect our mood, make us feel good or bad, like or dislike things and situations, but do you know why and how scents can affect our mood? This brief guide about the power of scents explains the connection between smells and emotions so you will know how to use fragrances in your home.

The process of smelling

A well-functioning sense of smell is crucial for several reasons. Smelling pleasant aromas can make our body and mind feel better, but unpleasant smells are also important because this is how we identify things and detect dangers like fire or rotten food.

Our ability to smell comes from specialized sensory cells, the olfactory sensory neurons. These receptors detect the microscopic molecules released by substances around us and send the information to the brain that identifies the aromas and lets the mind and body know what is that particular smell.

girl is smelling white flowers

An interesting fact is smelling happens not only through the nostrils but also through a channel that connects the roof of the throat to the nose, this function plays a key role in how we taste food.

Without smells, food would taste bland, the environment would be losing one of its major features, and the way we experience the world would be less intense, so it is easy to understand why fragrances are essential in life and why we shouldn’t underestimate the power of scents.

How do smells affect the brain?

Studies have shown that one’s mood can improve by 40% when smelling a pleasant fragrance, especially if that particular smell reminds us of our happy moments. Because of the brain’s anatomy, memories and smells are closely linked, said Venkatesh Murthy, Professor from Harvard.

The above-mentioned olfactory bulb sensory neurons send the information directly to the limbic system, the hippocampus, and amygdala that are related to memories and emotions.

Technically smells and feelings are stored as one memory, so when smelling a familiar fragrance when entering a property or a shop, we immediately feel good if that place has a fragrance that evokes good memories or vice versa, we feel uncomfortable if that aroma is linked to something bad in our brain.

Scents and emotions

Fragrances affect our life much more than we are aware of. Based on the largest study ever conducted on the connection of senses and retail experience that is explained in Martin Lindstrom famous book The BRAND Sense, 75% of our emotions are influenced by smells. A pleasant or unpleasant aroma makes us to like or dislike places, food, and also people, so we cannot underrate the power of scents.

Aromas help us to relax

Think about your latest spa experience, what was the first thing you noticed when you entered the door? Most probably the pleasant smell (and soft music) that instantly made you relax.

relaxing scent creation in SPA

It is scientifically proven that some fragrances like vanilla, eucalyptus, lavender, and roses have a calming effect, promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.

Fragrances make us creative

While some scents help us to slow down, others have uplifting capabilities and wake up our creative mind. Peppermint, cinnamon, jasmine, and citrus scents can improve concentration and focus, so if you spray or diffuse them in the office or study room you can enjoy their mind-stimulating benefits.

Smells affect the shopping experience and spending

Have you ever realized that you spend more time and money in shops that are smelling nice and turn away from places where there is no pleasant fragrance? Scent marketing became a true marketing weapon lately that increases brand loyalty and sales significantly.

shopping center

By creating an always nicely smelling environment and spraying fragrances strategically into the showroom, studies show that customers spend more time in areas where pleasant fragrances are diffused and value the products placed there more.

The importance of home fragrances

There is no better feeling than entering a freshly smelling house after a long day of work. Fragrances help to create a pleasant ambiance and make us to feel really at home. Also real estate agents use the power of scents to influence people when it comes to selling or renting a house or apartment.

As most of us can’t stay focused in a messy room, unpleasant smells also make people feel uncomfortable or can make sick too. When thinking about placing air fresheners in your house, keep in mind that different rules apply for each room.

girl at home with dog and scented candle

Of course, you need to choose fragrances you feel pleasant, but you should consider other factor too like who will spend the most time in those rooms, what activities people will do there, what atmosphere you wish to create there etc…

Scenting your home is a two-step process. First you need to eliminate bad smells and create a fresh, clean space, then you can start filling up the house with nice, matching fragrances (the aroma wheel helps to understand how to pair scents).

A golden rule is that strong odors never should be masked but treated properly, since not even the most expensive fragrance device, luxury scented candle or top-quality reed diffuser can work as it should if there something smelly in the house. Here on ItSmelssGood, I provide you with cool tips both on eliminating bad smells and creating a nicely smelling environment that you proudly can call home.

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