Making scents: 12 mood-boosting smells

Lacking energy? Need to chill out? Your nose knows best says Nel Staveley

Forget diamonds; a girl’s cheer-making best friend is none other than the humble lemon – new research from Radox has revealed that 34% of British women turn to a citrusy whiff when in need of a pick-me-up.

But lemons are not the only scent with the power to change our disposition.

Our olfactory glands are scientifically proven to be 10,000 times more sensitive than our sense of taste, so many aromas – even unassuming ones – can have an instant impact on our mood. So, if you want to…

Feel happy

Lemons have some impressive contenders when it comes to making you feel cheerful. The tropical jasmine flower might be diminutive, but its wonderfully floral fragrance is so powerful at stimulating feelings of optimism, it’s often used as an anti-depressant.

And what about that universally-loved aroma of freshly-cut grass? Researchers in Australia have discovered that this verdant smell not only makes you happier, it can also slow down mental decline in old age. They’ve even created a perfume that mimics the smell of a cut lawn for those who can’t be bothered to get the mower out.

Calm down

Lavender is well known for its sleep-inducing properties, but it can also be an effective stress-buster. So, if you’re having a particularly busy day at work, this lilac sprig will do wonders to calm you down.

Oranges are also known for their calming effects; in fact, in a recent study by Brazilian scientists, participants who were asked to sniff orange essential oils before an exam were shown to be a lot less anxious, and the feeling of relaxation even remained after the exam (not really surprising).

Become more energised

We’ve all experienced that mid-afternoon lull, so it’s not surprising that the one factor that both men and women agreed on in the Radox survey was that they are most in need of a mood boost at 3.56pm. But next time you’re flagging, eschew that cup of builder’s brew and bask in the aroma of a peppermint tea instead.

An American study revealed that peppermint inhalers gave university basketball players more energy, speed and motivation. Reebok even got on the bandwagon and released a peppermint-scented range of sports bras (yes, really).

Feel more brainy

Spices are known for stimulating endorphins when eaten, but the heady smell of cinnamon alone can help with cognitive processes including your memory, motor responses and ability to concentrate.

Alertness and memory can also be improved by rosemary, so make sure to turn to this humble herb when in need of an extra boost of brainpower.


What scents do you like best?



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Mother of three grown-up daughters I am the ultimate multi-tasker and am passionate about my role as Silversurfers Website Editor and Social Media Manager. Always on the lookout for all things that will interest and entertain our community. Fuelling fun for the young at heart!

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