What does happiness smell like? Can you bottle the feeling of euphoria? To get you walking on sunshine every day, we look at scents proven to trigger endorphin levels and joy.
Fragrance not only has the power to evoke memories, it can also affect certain parts of your brain to influence your moods. Picture this: you’re on your way to work, all perfumed and smelling great, then an open garbage truck passes you. The foul odour envelops your space and wham, your day becomes a lot worse.
Luckily, our world is also filled with pleasant smells that can lift you up even when you’re in the foulest of situations. Here are seven scents that will cheer you up and bring a smile to your face with a single sniff.
Its heart notes of orange, lemon, and grapefruit might be the reason why Clinique Happy perfume remains a bestseller year on year. According to Hope Gillerman, essential oil expert and founder of H. Gillerman Organics, these zesty sniffs are nature’s own antidepressants.
She says, “The molecules of citrus smells travel through your olfactory nerves to the part in your brain where stress and anxiety originate and calm you.”
For an extra zing of happiness, try starting your day with a LUX Aqua Sparkle shower. Notes of orange and lemon will perk you up in no time.
Yes, the smell that makes you think of Christmas and the festive holidays can have positive effects on your mood. Kyoto University in Japan did a study on the country’s custom of taking forest strolls known as shinrinyoku or forest bathing, and discovered that feelings of depression and anxiety were drastically reduced with participants who walked through pine-filled woods.
Other than its pleasing appearance, jasmine has been historically used as a relief for depression through aromatherapy. Researchers have found that its scent not only makes you more alert, but also zaps those pesky sad vibes to lift your mood. If the Monday blues are getting you down, try a LUX Velvet Touch shower or bath to cheer you up and get you ready for bed at the same time.
Distressed? Volunteer to mow your neighbour’s lawn or spritz some Serenascent on – a fragrance derived from the feel-good chemicals released when grass is cut. Discovered by a neuroscientist in Queensland, the green grass smell you know actually helps regulate the release of chronic stress hormones.
The rich aroma of vanilla doesn’t just get your sweet tooth tingling – studies done by International Flavours and Fragrance have shown that it was rated as ‘happy’ and ‘relaxing’ with overwhelming results. Most fragrance research also ranked vanilla as the top scent that makes people feel happiness.
Although this calming scent does make us think of swaying purple fields in the south of France, its soothing properties are far more impressive than just visual imagery. A medical study done by the University of Miami showed that smelling lavender “had a significant effect of improving mood, making people feel relaxed, and performing math computations at a faster rate”.
Stick some sprigs on your work desk to keep the happy going all day long.
Sure, the first whiff of coffee brewing in the morning is one of the best smells in the world, but the uplifting effects of your java goes beyond its invigorating aroma. Drinking coffee stimulates the production and release of dopamine, a happy brain chemical, and that acts as your body’s ‘wake-up call’.