The power of fragrance is truly undeniable. It surprises us every day that certain scents can transport our senses to an entirely different time, place and period of our lives – both past and present. But when it comes to mood-boosting qualities, do aromatherapeutic fragrances really have the ability to uplift our spirit and alter our not-so-good days? We called on the experts at Aromatherapy Associates to find out…
What is aromatherapy?
It turns out defining ‘aromatherapy’ isn’t quite as clear-cut as we imagined. Christina Salcedas, global director of education for Aromatherapy Associates, explains: “Aromatherapy can be described in so many different ways. However, for me, it is the use of essential oils to improve and maintain our physical and emotional wellbeing.”
“Our sense of smell has a direct link to our brain where memories and emotions are stored. So, imagine how many times you smell something, and it reminds you of a place, a time in your life or even a person. Then think how it makes you feel! Just by smelling something it can have an instant impact on how you feel. This is why scent has such an amazing impact on our wellbeing.”
How can aromatherapeutic scents promote different feelings, emotions and ambience?
“This can be down to 2 things,” shares Christina. “Firstly it could be the benefits of essential oils, or memories you have associated with that particular scent.”
“For example, our Deep Relax blend was created by one of our founders to help with her sleeping difficulties. She was studying the properties of essential oils and knew there were specific oils that would be more beneficial than others, so she blended them to her own pallet and used it successfully on herself. She then used it on her own clients and saw that the blend worked for them too.”
The second reason? As humans are creatures of habit, our brain may be forming patterns we never even knew about. “If you use a particular oil when you are relaxing, doing what you love and feeling calm, then your brain will log those feelings and emotions with that particular scent. So, when you smell it again you will be transported back to that place emotionally.”
How can aromatherapeutic scents help to boost our mood?
If you were sceptical on the power of aromatherapeutic scents, Christina is on-hand to put your uncertainty to bed. “The aroma, as well as the chemical constituents of the essential oils, can produce different emotional and physiological reactions, so can absolutely boost our mood.”
However, Christina reminds us: “Scent is absolutely very personal: what is amazing to one person may not be to another. But what we must remember here and what our founders at Aromatherapy Associates were able to capture was the fact that all essential oils will have therapeutic benefits, so even if you don’t like the smell, it will still do some good!”
What scents do you recommend for feeling energised?
“For a morning perk without the caffeine, I love a bit of pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry as found in one of our bestselling blends, Revive Morning,” says Christina.
Revive Morning is the perfect scent to wake up to – the invigorating fusion of pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper berry is designed to revitalise the senses, offering an instant, energising hit to perk you up on those not-so-active days.
“Alternatively, if I have had a busy day and still have an evening event or dinner to attend, ylang ylang, geranium and patchouli, found in our Revive Evening blend, are incredible!”
What scents do you recommend for minimising feelings of stress?
“Essential oils like frankincense, camomile and petitgrain are all great oils to help calm and focus the mind. All found in our DeStress Mind blend, that can be used in the bath or shower, on your wrists and pulse points or alternatively in an Atomiser.”
Aromatherapy Associates DeStress range is designed to bring an air of balance to the senses. Perfect for the busy mind and body, a blend of wild chamomile, rosemary and petitgrain promotes feelings of calm to help you relax unwind after a long, hectic day.
What scents do you recommend for feeling positive?
“If I needed to feel positive the blend would need to be something like rose, geranium and palmarosa. The ultimate feel-good blend for happiness and optimism. This can be found in my absolutely favourite Rose Body Cream, not only with this rich butter make me feel positive but it makes my skin super soft.”
What are some of your favourite mood-boosting scents?
“If I am feeling a little bit off, not quite myself maybe it’s the time of the month rose, geranium and frankincense would be my go-to. This particular blend of ours, Support Equilibrium, was created for a client that was going through the menopause, the blend helped re-balance emotions and focus the mind. It’s a hidden gem in the collection.”
How can we incorporate aromatherapy into a mood-boosting routine?
“This is the best thing about Aromatherapy it can be done anywhere and everywhere. You can start by using it in a morning shower, layer it on via a cream, lotion, or body oil. Then if you need a mid-morning boost, use it in a roller ball, then bring your day to a grounded ending with an aromatherapy bath. But don’t forget to scentscape your surrounding with an atomiser and a blend for each part of your day. Using essential oils in this way is the easiest and quickest way to boost your mood.”