According to a Rockefeller University study performed in 2014, the human olfactory system can sense 1 trillion different smells1. That is a far cry from what you can find at Yankee Candle or Bath and Body Works.
Therefore it is no surprise that smells can have a strong influence on our psychology; most notably memory and emotions. With that in mind, surrounding your home or office, whether being staged for sale or for your own living comfort, with specific fragrances can have very positive results.
Here are some of the most common and pleasing smells, broken into different categories of their scent2, that you can incorporate into your life to stimulate a number of different emotions and feelings depending on your use.
- Lavender - Calming and soothing. Reducing stress and increasing relaxation. Great for use in bubble baths, in a bedrooms before to assist with insomnia or relaxation.
- Peppermint – Cooling and stimulating. Great for use with Epson salt baths for tires and sore muscles, for headaches and migraine. I have a smell stick of peppermint oil I keep with me to swipe across my forehead when I feel a migraine coming on. The smell and oil on my skin does wonders. Lastly peppermint can also be used for stimulating your mind to wake up and work in an office setting.
- Chamomile – Calming and soothing effect for relaxation and sleep, often mixed with vanilla, lavender and other scents to emphasize this.
- Bergamot & Citrus fruit – zesty, bright, can boost your energy and increases your alertness. Often used in cleaning supplies and diffusers, citrus smells are great for conveying a clean fresh house. For an office, reception or common room setting Citrus scents would be ideal, not to strong, nostalgic or unpleasing to anyone.
- Roses, jasmine, peony – sweet, perfumey, fragrant – Floral scents can boost your mood and brighten your day, but can sometimes smell too overwhelming to others.
- Fruit scents are very much the same as floral. Sweet, tropical, nostalgic of places and foods we have experienced, but frequently too "sticky sweet" for some noses.
- Lawns and grasses, - Australian research shows that the smell of cut grass can make people feel relaxed and joyful. These scents are again great for clean, bright spaces, both at home or at work.
- Cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom – The warm and sweet scents can be sensual, increasing both nostalgic memories, warmth in the body and soul, and passion.
- Birchwood, cedar, pine, sandalwood, amber – Festive and forests aromas often reduces stress. depression and anxiety, by reminding us of winter activities and being outside in nature.
- Oak moss, leather, smoked wood, musk – The scents can be described as woody as the name implies, rich, earthy and sensual. Often connected more to the masculine, stimulating a sense of smoldering and beneficial for romantic endeavors. However they can also be fragrances people love or hate, often never indifferent of. So this category can be a little tricky.
If you are looking for inviting, homey smells for use in staging, house warming, or entertaining, you can't go wrong with your sugaed vanilla /cupcakes/cookies/pies scents. Those always bring a sense of nostalgia and make people think you are baking cookies! What more could you ask for? Of course if there is something specific, like the smell of cinnamon apple pie that brings back warm memories of your childhood, you should absolutely work that into your space as well!
I hope this has brought you some new ideas or helped you decide on something you were thinking of! There are plenty of ways you can incorporate these smells, whether purchasing a candle, using essential oils in a diffuser, making your own candles and diffusers, or boiling fresh peels and herbs on your the way my mom used to on our wood burning stove in the winter. Happy smelling!