Mood Boosting Scents
Beat the winter blues with a spritz of uplifting scent
Luckily, there are plenty of mood-boosting fragrances on the market as brands readily embrace our desire for mood-altering scents, and those which draw on our emotions, and more and more fragrance houses are now combining perfumery with aromachology and neurocosmetics to appeal to our senses.
Fragrance is one of the best things you can buy. to make you feel better fast as scent works on your subconscious and stimulates the limbic system (the brain’s emotional control centre). A whopping 35 percent of our memories are linked to smell which is why they have such a profound effect on our emotions, and why so many perfumers try to link their scents to a particular moment to help transport you to happier times.
This time of year calls for scents that make us feel like the glass is at least half full, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we reach for our favourite sparkly floral fragrance. Trying to recreate your own June in January rarely works as the lighter, floral scents need warmth and light in order to come into their own. Colder air inhibits a perfume, so we need something stronger and bolder to help raise spirits.
Look for cinnamon which can boost brain function and improve alertness, rosemary which helps boost memory, and neroli, a renowned general pick-meup. Warming and spicy notes of black pepper help boost the body’s natural defences, and fennel kick starts a natural detox process.
Most of us love a bracing walk along a beach. A fresh, bracing sea-salt accord will lift the spirits, as does citrusy grapefruit and bergamot. Warming vanilla, one of the most prevalent fragrance components, is associated with nostalgia which as well as calming, leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Jasmine is known to increase beta waves (the brain waves associated with alertness) and refreshing peppermint actually stimulates the same nerve as smelling salts!
Lavender is well known for its soothing and de-stressing properties. Rich and floral, ylang ylang can help calm nerves and research shows that patchouli significantly lowers adrenaline levels. Rose and rhubarb are also both known to help restore calm and inner balance, whilst woody vetiver will transport you to lying back on the grass on a summer’s day. What’s not calming about that?
An easy way to get an instant hit, room sprays disperse the droplets into the air via aerosol and are an affordable quick fix. Some sprays are also designed for use directly on bed linen to help sleep, so a quick spurt onto your pillow at bedtime can help you drift off more easily.
Diffuse the Scent
Diffusers use heat or sonic waves to atomise essential oils and disperse them into the air. Sonic diffusers tend to be preferable as heat can cause the fragrance to degrade, and scent is more intense as there is no need to dilute the essential oils. Reed diffusers are also popular and as they don’t need power can be placed anywhere in the home, but their scent tends to be far more subtle than that given off by the electric diffuser.
A warm bath filled with scented oils is a great way to benefit from the therapeutic fragrance. Always choose high quality, naturally scented oil (and follow up with a complementary scented body cream for extra effect).
The scented candle market has exploded recently and they are a great way of scenting your home and creating a warm ambience. Try and stay away from synthetic scents and keep the candle at a lower level (the heat and therefore the scent rises). Don’t burn for longer than four hours and for most efficient burning always trim the wick before lighting.