The sense of smell is directly linked to emotion and memory and can affect both our short-and long-term moods. Creating an environment with pleasant smells can evoke positive, calm or otherwise good emotions and can have a profound impact on our emotional well-being.

The first stop for new smells is the olfactory bulb. It begins inside the nose and runs along the bottom part of the brain. This bulb is directly linked to two areas of the brain that control emotion and memory. The first, is the amygdala, which is an almond shaped area of nervous tissue located in the temporal lobe of the brain. It’s thought to be a part of the limbic system within the brain, which is responsible for emotions, survival instincts, and memory. The second, is the hippocampus, which is the elongated ridges on the floor of each lateral ventricle of the brain, thought to be the center of emotion, memory, and the autonomic nervous system.

Memories that are triggered by our olfactory senses can be accompanied by clear images and feelings of happiness and excitement. It’s no wonder that thousands of fragrances ranging from simple oils to multilayered candle creations were designed to change or enhance our feelings. Inhalation of different scents can produce immediate changes in our blood pressure, muscle tension, pulse rate, and brain function. With challenges of modern daily living, many are looking for simple ways to promote feelings of bliss. Scents are an inexpensive way to positively impact our mood and life experiences. So, we recommend exploring these 8 scents for relaxation.

  1. Lavender – lowers heart rate, reduces stress, calms mind

  2. Orange – mild sedative, reduces nervous tension, promotes feelings of happiness

  3. Peppermint – muscle relaxant, relieves anxiety, soothing, fights depression

  4. Vanilla – potent relaxer, comforting, lowers blood pressure

  5. Cinnamon – eases tension, alleviates irritability, improves cognitive functions

  6. Jasmine slows down nervous system, helps fight fatigue, lowers stress level

  7. Chamomile – promotes well-being, mild tranquilizer

  8. Valerian promotes sleep, relaxing effects, reduces emotional imbalance