The Science of Smell: Why Fragrances Create a Feeling
Why do we love fragrance so much? Well…besides that fact that something can simply smell “good” or “bad” to us, science has actually found that smell is closely linked to memory and emotion. We’re exploring the science of smell to understand what causes us to love the scents we do.
So much that a single whiff of a familiar fragrance can trigger the olfactory function of your brain to evoke particular memories (even those you may have forgotten!)
Unlike taste or touch, which are related to our experience in the present moment, scent has a direct link to our past experiences. This explains why fragrance is so powerful in evoking or changing various emotions.
THE SCIENCE OF SMELL
According to The Fifth Sense, upon detecting a smell, olfactory neurons in the upper part of the nose generate an impulse which is passed to the brain along the olfactory nerve. The part of the brain this arrives at first is called the olfactory bulb. Here it processes the signal and then passes information about the smell to other areas closely connected to it. It’s collectively known as the limbic system.
The limbic system comprises a set of structures within the brain that are regarded by scientists as playing a major role in controlling mood, memory, behaviour and emotion. It is often regarded as being the old (or primitive) part of the brain, because these same structures were present within the brains of the very first mammals. Knowing this helps us to understand why smell plays such an important role in memory, mood and emotion.
Knowing this, fragrance can become a powerful tool in regulating and changing our state of being.
So, what do you want to feel like?
IF YOU WANT TO FEEL…
Reach for citrus notes like those in Orange Rind + Clove.
Studies on citrus fragrances have shown to boost mood and energy. Citrus fragrance is typically associated with cleanliness and feeling joyful. You can thank 50 plus years of lemon-scented cleaning product advertisements and marketing campaigns for that one.
In this clinical study, citrus related aromatherapy was found to be even more effective than antidepressants. That’s some powerful stuff!
We love the Mulled Orange Cider fragrance for its sweet and zesty citrus notes that are reminiscent of a warm drink on a chilly fall day. Mulled Orange Cider will lift your mood and help restore balance to your mind.
Reach for lavender top notes and warm woody or amber notes like those in Rose Patchouli + Amber.
Rose Patchouli & Amber is a fragrance that will have you wanting to inhale deeply… and then inhale again and again and again. Queue meditation and zen atmosphere.
This warm, inviting scent combines the mood boosting citrus notes of sparkling lemon and orange peels. Deep patchouli, warm amber, and sandalwood come together for a delightfully contradictory mixture.
Top notes of aromatic lavender unravel into heady rose and shaved cinnamon in this unmatched spa fragrance.
Lavender specifically has been shown in clinical studies to cause significant stimulation in the olfactory bulb linked to relaxation. There is even proof this scent may help to alleviate pain and insomnia.
Don’t just take our word for it, check out the proof from the US National Library of Medicine for more behind the emotion of fragrance.
Reach for the notes of clove, allspice, and ginger like those in Pumpkin + Persimmon.
We don’t need any science for this one, pumpkin has long been a seasonal favorite and creates what we fondly refer to as the “Fall Feels”.
Pumpkin + Persimmon is a sophisticated take on a familiar scent and creates a feeling of nostalgia for pumpkin carving, sweater weather, and the infamous PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte). We promise you’ll be feeling all warm and cozy!
Reach for notes of eucalyptus, cinnamon, and musky pine like those in Juniper + Balsam Spruce.
This scent is reminiscent of a fresh breath of cold mountain air… A powerful combination of eucalyptus, pine wood, and lemon peel that will energize you and boost your mood.
Smell this fragrance first thing in the morning to start your day with positivity and give yourself a boost of energy.
Cinnamon is a stimulator that will also help to fight mental fatigue and improve concentration.
We saved the best for last.
Whether you’re enjoying a intimate candle-lit dinner or setting the mood because you’re about to watch Dirty Dancing for the fourteenth time, Cedarwood & Neroli will surely set the tone for romance.
Choose notes of neroli, jasmine, amber, and patchouli like those in Cedarwood + Neroli Balsam.
We saved the best for last.
Whether you’re enjoying an intimate candle-lit dinner or setting the mood because you’re about to watch Dirty Dancing for the fourteenth time, Cedarwood & Neroli will surely set the tone for romance.
The link between fragrance and seduction is as old as time itself. Have you ever heard the story of Cleopatra and how not one, but two(!) great leaders from the Roman Empire were so entranced by her perfumed concoctions that they fell in love with her?
In fact, Cleopatra even had her own perfume factory according to ancient historians. Being the girl boss that she was, Cleopatra was highly interested in alchemy and understood the power that fragrance can have over the mind.
Anyways, back to the feeling sexy part.
Cedarwood & Neroli is an intermingling of soft florals and deep patchouli making for an arousing combination that smells of sweet musk. If you’re new to this whole fragrance thing, musk is the most carnal, primitive of all sexy smells.
Interesting, and somewhat gross fact… the scent of musk is a replication of the smell secreted by male deer sex glands. Still in the mood?
Cedarwood + Neroli contains top notes of Jasmine, which is known as the sexiest of all florals. Jasmine contains an aromatic property called indole, which also happens to be found in human nether regions. We couldn’t make this stuff up if we tried.
Now that you understand the science of smell and how directly fragrance can affect our emotions and even behaviors, you can select your fragrances based on the mood you desire to create.
Get started creating your ambiance! View the full selection of our fragrance oils in our Exclusive Fragrances.