Making Sense of Mood and Scents
Our sense of smell is a very powerful and important tool. As we learned from our previous blog post “Scent Memory” scent and memory are intertwined. If you haven’t read that post yet, stop right here, go check it out and then continue reading.
Today is Valentine's Day and I think it is the perfect time to delve deeper into this powerful tool and show how scents can affect our emotions and thereby affect our mood.
All five of our senses are equally important, but if you had to choose three of your five senses to live without, which of the five would you choose? Without putting much thought into it, unless you are a chef, you may put your sense of smell in the bottom two. Sight, smell, and hearing would be in the top three for me. However, no matter which three you chose, it is important to note that smell plays a very crucial role in the interaction with and the understanding of our environment and thereby our mood.
According to evolutionary psychology, "our noses are more susceptible to scents that we perceive as a threat to our survival. You find it easy to identify the smell of rotting food, for example, but some evidence also suggest human olfactory system may also be able to detect and interpret information from pheromones".
Memories are always intertwined with emotions and often associated with automatic emotions. Therefore, when we experience a scent that is stored in our memory, our brains tend to correlate it with certain recollections and the emotions involved with them emerges in tandem.
Scents can affect both our long- and short-term mood. If we walk into a room that has a pleasant smell it often automatically lifts our mood on the other hand if we walk into a room that smells unpleasant it can instantly shift our mood as well.
In that same view, if a scent reminds us of a great experience, it may put us in a good mood. But, if a scent reminds us of a bad experience, it may put us in a bad mood.
A good scent is not so much about how it smells, but more so, how it makes us feel, the emotions it evokes and the memories it conjures up. A good fragrance therefore is composed of notes that are designed to target and direct our emotions.
As you continue to use various scents whether in perfumes, bath or body products or your favorite candles, you will notice that you will continue to be drawn to one or more distinct scent notes. Go ahead check it out, I'll wait. Now look at the scent notes of your favorite candles, perfume, etc. and see which common scent/scents you notice. When you do, take note of how it makes you feel when you smell that distinct scent or scents and try to see if you can remember why this scent stands out so much to you. Hopefully it is not a bad memory that will spoil your mood today. If, so I'd like to apologize in advance
For me that scent is musk. I noticed that all the scents that I love always have musk somewhere in the scent notes. This is also evident in the candles scents that we carry here at Oh D'Luxe Candle Company.
Musk is said to recreate the scent of clean skin as if you were just getting out of the shower. Recently I started looking deeply into all the scent notes of the candles we carry here in our shop and more than 70% of them are made up of musk.. Some of these scents includes our bestsellers Fall All Year, Breathe and Vanilla and Ice candles and as expected they are amongst three of my favorites.
Vanilla another of our popular scent note is more of a round, warm and sweet scent. When burning your vanilla scented candle, it helps you relax and can give you the feeling of getting a warm hug. Our Relax candle is 70% vanilla, our Vanilla and Ice candle and our Zucchini Bread candle all have vanilla as the star but are on different spectrums of the scent family wheel.
Sandalwood another of the scents that our customers ask for by name is a rare wood, with a woody milky and comforting scent. It is known in Asia to bring balance and harmony to the mind, to help to bring back focus and to help manage anxiety. This is so evident in our Sleep candle that includes sandalwood as one of the main ingredients.
I hope you are enjoying the deeper look into our scent notes. We are currently working on a blog series that will help you make even more sense of scent notes, their meanings and descriptions. Stay tuned.
On behalf of my hubby and I, we would love to wish you a Happy Love Day. Today, light a candle and elevate your mood.
Be the light.
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