How Scent Affects Memory and Emotion

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Scents have the power to stimulate memories from the deepest parts of our brain when the scent wafts past us again. 

For some people, it’s the perfume they chose to spritz themselves with every morning during their holiday in the south of France that when used now, will bring back irreplaceable memories of the trip.

For others it could be the smell of a peppermint candle that triggers heart-warming memories of Christmas spent with family during their childhood. 

According to Psychology Today, scent is one of the more operative senses to trigger memories as there is a direct connection from the inside of the nose (olfactory bulb) to the part of the brain which preserves information and emotions (amygdala and hippocampus).

While reactions to scents differ from person to person, there are a few specific scents that are known to either lift the mood or relax the body and mind.

Here is a chart of how different scents are used to help soothe the mind and body:

Problem Scent
Feeling low Jasmine
Feeling stressed Wood
Trouble sleeping Lavender  
Anxiety Chamomile  
Nausea Orange
Headaches Eucalyptus
Low energy Rosemary

Uplifting fragrances that have the ability to enhance and liven up a perhaps dull atmosphere are usually affiliated with the scent of fresh flowers.

Jasmine takes supremacy amongst other flowers when it comes to energizing a space with a single yet sensuously rich scent.

Its heavenly bold and tenacious aroma not only heightens serotonin levels but restores energy through its sweet fruity undertones.

Here are some of our favourite jasmine scented products right now.

Sweet Pea and Jasmine Fragranced Diffuser by Ecoya

Ecoya Diffuser and packaging. Image from ecoya.com
Image sourced from ecoya.com

Ecoya’s Sweet Pea and Jasmine Fragranced Diffuser acts as an exquisite mood booster when left in either the bedroom or the study.

When feeling down, this floral scent is the perfect way to trigger you mind, body and soul back to a place of optimism, productivity and positivity.

The Sweet Pea and Jasmine Fragranced Diffuser comes in 200mL with seven reed sticks for an RRP of $49.95 or in 50mL with five reed sticks for an RRP of $25.95.

White Rose and Jasmine Standard Candle by the Palm Beach Collection

Palm Beach Collection candle and packaging. Image from palmbeachcollection.com
Image sourced from palmbeachcollection.com

The Palm Beach Collection’s White Rose and Jasmine Standard Candle harnesses an extravagant yet exotic scent.

This warm, inviting scent is perfect for the kitchen or sitting area at home as it will collectively boost the energy of the room.

The White Rose and Jasmine Standard Candle is 420g and has approximately 80 hours in burn time with an RRP of $39.95.

The mini version is 90g with a burn time of 25 hours and an RRP of $16.95.

It also comes in a deluxe version of 1.8kg and an approximate burn time of 180 hours with an RRP of $99.95.

Fragrances that work to calm and relax, usually have earthy tones with woody bases.

The grounding effects of these scents come from their musky undertones that help create a peaceful atmosphere.

These stress-relieving scents are comprised of woods such as cedarwood, sandalwood or agarwood also known as oud.

There is a certain heartiness to these soothing scents that remind the body, mind and soul to release any anxieties, take a breath and relax.

Here are some of our favourite wood-based scents  

Arabian Nights Triple Scented Candle by Glasshouse

Glasshouse candle and packaging. Image from glasshousefragrances.com
Image sources from glasshousefragrances.com

Glasshouse’s Arabian Nights Triple Scented Candle is centered around white oud, an expensive Arabian wood.

Opulence exudes from the rich amber undertones to the sensuous notes of saffron. 

This candle would be the perfect start to a relaxing night-in of self-care.

The Arabian Nights Triple Scented Candle is 350g with an RRP of $42.95.

It also comes in a smaller 60g version with an RRP of $18.95.

Orchid and Sandalwood Artisan Midnight Room Spray by Dusk

Dusk room spray and packaging. Image from dusk.com
Image sourced from dusk.com

Dusk’s Orchid and Sandalwood Artisan Midnight Room Spray is an alluring scent that stimulates a relaxed and comforting environment. 

The woody composition paired with fresh notes of orchid help to release any anxieties, allowing the mind and body to unwind.

Spraying this product around the bedroom before going to bed is an easy way to improve sleep quality and get a good night’s rest.

The Orchid Sandalwood Artisan Midnight Room Spray is 100mL with an RRP of $19.99.

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Anisha Rapthi

CONTRIBUTOR

Anisha's perfect Friday night consists of playing boardgames and sharing a laugh with her nearest and dearest while devouring some Messina ice-cream. She is passionate about learning from empowering women and can usually be found listening to podcasts, watching videos or reading articles, obsessing over whoever the latest ally is. Like most millennials, her favourite way to wind-down is to grab a yummy snack and binge-watch her favourite Netflix series.

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