Smell is the most powerful yet under appreciated scent we have. The latest scientific research is revealing the incredible power of scent in more ways than we have ever imagined. Beyond just evoking memories and aiding in relaxation, scent can transform our mood, memories, emotions, and productivity.
Before I share the best way to access the power of scent, let’s take a short detour to understand how scent really works.
When we smell something, it is picked up by millions of sensory neurons in the back of the nose. They send the new scent’s information to two important parts of the brain: the olfactory bulb and the thalamus. People have about 450 olfactory receptors, which help recognize what the scent is and allows us to detect a wide variety of scents. (“Making sense of scents” Marin and Curley) The thalamus is like a relay station for the brain and transmits some of this smell information to the orbitofrontal cortex, which plays a key role in appreciating scent, taste, experiencing emotions, and motor function. The thalamus also sends smell information to the hippocampus and amygdala, key brain regions involved in learning and memory. (“Know Your Brain: Orbitofrontal Cortex”) This is how scents can have such a powerful impact on our mental and emotional state.
When we smell something, it is picked up by millions of sensory neurons in the back of the nose. They send this info to the olfactory bulb, the structure in the front of the brain that sends information to the other areas of the body’s central command for further processing. Odors take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.
While the workings of smell are extremely complex, research has shown the tremendous benefits our sense of smell can play in our everyday life.
Some of the key roles of scent include:
- Appreciating the taste of food
- Remembering certain memories
- Emotional stability
- Relaxation and relieving stress
- Increasing Focus
- Boosting Productivity
Now that we’ve got an understanding of how scent works and its benefits, what is the best way to tap into the power of scent?
You don’t need to live in nature or become an expert in essential oils. Lighting a quality scented candle is a simple, yet powerful way to bring scent into your daily life. The scent is usually subtle, not overpowering, yet strong enough to create a pleasant aroma and effective enough to deliver results. After 30 minutes - 1 hour, the consistent scent will naturally produce good effects. Scented candles can be used at all hours of the day - in the morning to bring more energy, in the afternoon to help focus, and in the evening to help unwind.At Go Candles, we create scented candles you’ll love - made with 100% natural ingredients including essential oils and designed to help you gain the maximum benefits from scent. Check out www.gocandles.co to see our line of candles and their benefits!