Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Science of Scent or "The Nose Knows"

From the moment a human being enjoys (or finds displeasure in) their first breathed-in fragrance, the brain hard wires us to connect scent with surroundings, fragrance with what follows, and commands us to make associations with aromas. It's one of the first senses that's activated when we're born. It's in our DNA to connect the refreshing scent or citrus with the delicious taste of oranges or maybe even a slice of lemon meringue pie. Or the smell of baked apple pie might bring back treasured memories of your childhood. Perhaps the fragrance of fir trees or evergreens being back fond memories of Christmases past. Whatever your personal fragrance journey, every human is wired for smell and the triggers that go along with it.

Diane Ackerman, author of A Natural History of the Senses, explains it like this, "The charm of language is that, though it is human-made, it can on rare occasions capture emotions and sensations that aren’t. But the physiological links between the smell and language centers of the brain are pitifully weak. Not so the links between the smell and the memory centers, a route that carries us nimbly across time and distance."

Smell is provocative and deeply rooted to our emotional state.. It has an extremely significant influence on our behavior, perhaps even more than we realize. Certain fragrances have been shown to improve health, reduce stress, enhance sleep, and improve physical and cognitive performance. There is definitely a "mind-body connection" going on. Although the list of fragrances and their effects are extensive, here's a short reference to get you started when choosing your "signature" fragrances:

Scents to Relieve Anxiety: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Orange, Peach, Rose, Rose Geranium and Violet Leaf.
(Try these Key West Candles, on sale this week for a little anxiety relief: Mahogany Teakwood, Peach Orchard, and Gardenia)
Scents to Improve Memory: Bay Laurel, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon and Rosemary.
(Try these Key West Candles, on sale this week. to boost your memory:Gardenia, Mahogany Teakwood)

Scents to Invigorate and Overcome Fatigue: Cinnamon, Clove Basil, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lemon, Peppermint, Pine, Sage, Vanilla, and Spiced Apple.
(Try these Key West Candles, on sale this week, for a pick me up: Baked Apple Pie, elevate your mood with Stay Awhile Vanilla, think positive with Pomegranate, and Gardenia)