How to Cultivate a Positive Atmosphere Using Scents at Home
By Francesca Singer
If you’ve ever found yourself stopped dead in your tracks by a scent that transports you to another place and time, then you understand the power of smell to trigger memories. Of course, every memory comes packed with the attached emotions related to the specific memory. This goes beyond feeling happy when you smell apple pie because it reminds you of Grandma, this is deep brain science. The great thing about this mental mechanism is that we can use it to create an environment where feelings can be guided by fragrances. Read on for a basic guide on how to cultivate atmosphere using scents at home.
Create Positive Associations
If you want to use scent to conjure up good feelings, one of the easiest ways to start is to create a positive association with a specific fragrance. For example, incorporating a scent that you find relaxing into bath routine is a method of triggering relaxation whenever you smell that specific scent. Using a bath product or essential oil containing lavender, chamomile, or clary sage might set the tone for your soothing baths. Once this particular scent is ingrained in your memory as being relaxing, you can begin to use it as a trigger for relaxation. After a stressful day, or on a night when you’re having difficulty falling asleep, you can apply a few drops of this essential oil to your pillowcase or pulse points to elicit an immediate sense of calm. This is, of course, just one example of many possibilities.
Plant Old Memories
Some of the most common emotionally evocative scents come from childhood. Often, a flowering backyard plant will bring a memory to the surface and an associated feeling rides along with it. From honeysuckle to false indigo, many of the plants we grew up with have subtle scents that take us back to simpler times.
By planting a handful of these nostalgic plants in the garden, you’ll have access to this olfactory escape for a stretch of the year. When your plants are in full bloom, cut a few stems and arrange them into a vase to place inside your home. You will be treated to a walk down memory lane and warm, fuzzy feelings each time you enter the room your flowers are occupying.
Employ Aromatherapy Techniques
There are a number of essential oils known to have effects on mood and energy levels. You can harness the power of these fragrances and use them to direct the vibe in and around your home. The best tool for this job is an oil diffuser. An ultrasonic one will disperse the oil into the air without burning or altering it in any way, plus it adds a touch of humidity to the air, which can help counteract the effects of dry inside air on your sinuses. If you want to use the power of fragrance to improve and affect your atmosphere at home, but just don’t know where to begin, schedule a consultation with our in-house aromatherapist and develop an action plan for your own personalized aromatherapy needs. Whatever path you take to mood enhancement through scent, it’s guaranteed to be an interesting and stimulating journey.
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Francesca Singer is a former farmer & landscape architect who is passionate about plants, DIY home restoration, and travel. When not writing, she can be found working in the garden, wrangling her toddler, or wielding power tools in Texas or rural France.