Exploring the Power and the Science of Scent and Its Ability to Affect Us

Ever wondered why certain scents make you feel a certain way?

Whether it’s the ...

  • The comforting smell of cookies baking in the oven
  • Delicious-smelling dinner being cooked in the kitchen; or
  • A calm lavender-scented candle burning in the living room

... scents can affect us on a deep level.

But how does scent work its magic? And what is it about certain scents that make them so special?

Join me as we explore the science and power of scent — and how to use scent to our advantage.

Table of Contents

Understanding the Science of Scent

I promise not to get too nerdy, but let's take a moment to learn about what studies say about the science of scent.

What's that, you say? You don't remember learning about this in high school.

Well, you're not alone. In The Human Sense of Smell, G. Shepherd shows how the power of scent has often been overlooked in human history.

But the truth is, our sense of smell is just as important as the other senses — maybe even more so.

So how does it all work?

The instant you take a whiff of something, the smell receptors in your nose, which are part of the olfactory system, detect the molecules and send signals directly to your brain.

It works almost immediately, too!

The signals then travel to the limbic system, also known as the "emotional brain" — where your sense of smell connects with your emotions and memories.

Scientific research even documents the connection between the olfactory and limbic systems that makes scent so powerful.

Who knew that scent could have such a profound impact on the body and mind? 

Why Is Scent So Powerful?

When it comes to scent, there's no denying that we're a bit obsessed.

From perfumes to candles, we love anything and everything that smells good.

But why is scent so powerful? 

Maybe it's because scents can instantly:

  • Calm us down
  • Energize us
  • Make us happy; or
  • Relax us
  • Perhaps the most interesting thing about scent is the way it can affect our moods.

    If you are curious to see how you can use the science of scent as a powerful tool — one that can influence our moods and behavior — keep reading.

    The Power of Scent on Emotions

    According to recent research, scents have a powerful effect on our emotions.

    For centuries, humans have been using scents to express many feelings — from love to anger. 

    It is believed that our ability to pick up certain scents goes back as far as the early days of our ancestors, which was necessary for finding mates! 

    So the next time you are feeling down, reach for one of these fragrances that has been scientifically proven to affect our emotions:

    • Jasmine can help fight depression
    • Bergamot & Neroli may help with feelings of grief
    • Geranium can help with anxiety and depression
    • Sweet Orange is great for fighting the “Winter Blues;” and
    • Clary sage, rose, and vetiver create a powerful team against anxiety

    The Power of Scent on Memories

    The power of scent can instantly transport you back to a memory — both good or bad. It has the power to make you feel things you thought you had forgotten.

    It's no wonder that our sense of smell is so closely linked to our ability to remember things.

    After all, what's the point of having all those memories if we can't access them? That's where the power scent comes in.

    What’s the science behind this scent and memory phenomenon?

    Scientists have been studying the effects of scent on our memories for years, and they've found that scents can affect how we vividly remember things.

    For example, the smell of freshly baked cookies can instantly transport you back to your childhood.

    But did you know that scent also plays an important role in memory formation?

    A recent 2020 study shows how people who have lost their sense of smell often find it difficult to:

    • Remember information; or
    • Retain new skills

    This is partly because our brains form a mental image of that object or person when we smell something familiar — a process known as “odor encoding.”

    When we try to remember something, the smell of it triggers the same neural circuits in our brain as when we experienced it. 

    This explains why it is so easy for us to remember things we have smelled before.

    What scents are associated with affecting our memory?

    There are a ton of scents to choose from, including: 

    When you're studying or taking an academic test, it may be useful to have any of these essential oils or candles on hand.

    The Power of Scent for Stress Relief

    We've all been there.

    You're juggling a million things at once, and suddenly you feel like you're going to lose it. Your heart races, your palms start to sweat, and you can't think straight. 

    Before you reach for the bottle of wine or define "adulting" for the hundredth time, take a deep breath and try something new — the power of scent for stress relief.

    That's right. Science shows that some floral scents can evoke calmness and relieve stress.

    So next time you're feeling stressed, take a deep breath in and relax with the soothing smell of:

    • Rose
    • Jasmine; or
    • Lavender

    Who wouldn't love the wonderful smell of a jasmine-scented candle? 

    Not only will it make your home smell great, but the jasmine can help take the edge off of a tense situation, too.

    Is the job stressing you out? Feeling overwhelmed with all your adulting? Take a quick break and smell something relaxing, like Tiffany Moon’s Aroma-sthesia® Handcrafted Lorazepam Candle.

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    The Power of Scent for Energy

    When you're feeling exhausted and your energy is zapped, sometimes the best thing to do is turn to scent for a boost of energy. 

    Like a good citrus scent to help wake you up.

    Don't believe the scent of oranges can give you a boost? It's a natural and research-backed pick-me-up that can help you feel more alert and awake.

    Other scents that can provide energy boosts include:

    You never know which scent is going to work best for you until you try out a bunch of different ones. 

    Who knows, you might find your new favorite scent by mixing and matching different kinds.

    The Power of Scent for Insomnia

    There are all sorts of tricks and tips out there for getting a good night's sleep, but the scents you smell can make a big difference.

    Some people find certain scents help them relax and drift off to la-la land, while others find they need a particular scent to get a good night's sleep.

    Either way, research shows certain scents can help you relax and get a better night's sleep.

    Not sure where to start? Don't worry.

    We've got some great suggestions for you based on the science of scent.

    Some of the best-known scents for promoting a good night's sleep are those that have a calming effect, like:

    • The soothing aromas of vanilla or jasmine
    • Floral fragrances, such as rose or geranium; and
    • Calming scents, like lavender or chamomile

    So why not give it a try? 

    The next time you have trouble sleeping, see if using one of those scents helps. 

    And who knows? You might just find your new favorite bedtime ritual.

    From Pick-Me-Ups to Relaxation Inducers, Aroma-sthesia®  Has a Scented Candle for Whatever Ails You

    Candles can turn you into a calm, Zen master — or give you an energy rush like no other! 

    What mood do you need to change?

    Whether you're feeling down, stressed out, or just want to relax in a cozy atmosphere, Tiffany Moon's Aroma-sthesia® Scented Candles will do the trick.

    We have the perfect candle for you.

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    Propofol for Insomnia

    The Propofol Candle is great for when you need (not want) to take a nap.

    This tranquil Aromas-thesia® Candle is a safe and effective way to reduce anxiety if you find yourself:

    • In a high-stakes job
    • Working beyond the 9 to 5; or
    • Answering to a boss named Karen

    The Propofol Candle is so effective because of the powerful ingredients it contains, including …

    • Currant; and
    • Red rose petals

    ... which creates a relaxation-inducing aroma that is a delicate blend of flora and tart berry.

    Go ahead — pour yourself a glass of wine and prepare that steaming hot bubble bath. Your brain will recognize it’s time for some R&R when you smell this candle.

    You can rest in tranquility, knowing the Propofol Candle is working in your favor.

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    Rocuronium for Relaxation

    The Rocuronium Candle is the perfect choice if you need to relax and wind down at the end of the day.

    This soothing Aromas-thesia® Candle is an effective way to reduce tension if you:

    • Got an email with the subject "Lice Outbreak" from your kid's school; or
    • Are stressing about tomorrow's presentation at work that you forgot all about

    No worries! Make it a habit to light this candle after particularly stressful days. Over time, when you smell this candle, you will be sending a signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and relax.

    How does it work?

    The Rocuronium Candle is made with … 

    • Eucalyptus; and
    • Bright citrus fruit

    ... for a clean and fresh fragrance that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed.

    When you smell this candle, you are sending a signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and relax.

    To enhance your unwinding experience, consider placing some fresh flowers on your nightstand. You deserve it!

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    Epinephrine for Energy

    The Epinephrine Candle is worth checking out if you need an extra boost of adrenaline — in a hurry — to conquer the rest of your day.

    This powerful Aromas-thesia® Candle is a natural way to bursts of energy if you find yourself:

    • Running on your internal battery that’s in the red zone; or
    • Working late into the evening and struggling to keep your eyes open

    Are you wondering how a candle can help you push through and increase your energy?

    It’s all about the science of scent! 

    We made the Epinephrine Candle with ...

    • Jasmine
    • Soft amber; and
    • Himalayan Cedarwood

    ... which provide a sensual and invigorating mood.

    Light this candle to let your brain know when it’s time to kick things into high gear. It’s the perfect combination to get your adrenaline pumping and help you feel like you’re in control again.

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    Vasopressin for Mood Enhancement

    The Vasopressin Candle is perfect for enhancing your mood if you are feeling a bit unstable.

    We all have those days when we feel like a loose cannon. 

    The Vasopressin Candle can help to stabilize your mood if you find yourself:

    • Feeling unhinged in a toxic relationship; or
    • Justifying your right to throw tantrums right alongside your toddler

    There’s no judgment here. Only a solution with the Vasopressin Candle.

    We crafted the Vasopressin Candle with ...

    • Lemongrass; and
    • A hint of sage

    ... for an energizing pick-me-up feeling.

    Homeostasis abounds in the Vasopressin Candle. Light this candle when you need to level-out your mood and calm down.

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    Lorazepam for Stress Relief

    The Lorazepam Candle is a soothing option if you need to combat the stress and worry that comes from just being an adult.

    Adulting. Who would have thought it would be so stressful, right?

    Thankfully, the carefree Lorazepam Candle is great for relieving stress and tension if you find yourself:

    • Nicknamed the “Worry Wart” in your family
    • Being superstitious and careful about old wives’ tales; or
    • Unable to find a break from getting caught at every red light on the drive home after work

    If only the phrase, “Don’t worry, be happy,” was easier said than done. 

    Thankfully, the Lorazepam Candle can help you combat worry and stress with the following ingredients:

    • Patchouli
    • Soft jasmine; and
    • A hint of amber

    Don’t be surprised if you find yourself humming or whistling your favorite song after training your brain to react to the power of scent from the Lorazepam Candle!

    Aroma-sthesia® Handcrafted Candles Created by Tiffany Moon

    Looking to add a little excitement to your day or find some peace and tranquility? 

    Aroma-sthesia® handcrafted candles have just what you need.

    Check out Tiffany Moon's Aroma-sthesia® line of soy wax candles, handcrafted in the USA to ensure quality and purity. 

    These candles are perfect for adding a touch of luxury to any setting.

    Not only does Aroma-sthesia® use only the highest quality ingredients on the market, but our candles are also free of:

    • Parabens 
    • Phthalates; and
    • Paraffin

    You deserve a luxurious candle experience that suits your every mood.

    With over 20 scented candles to choose from, you can find one for any given situation — whether it’s time for:

    • A relaxing aromatherapy bath
    • Winding down after the kids have gone to bed; or
    • Getting the creative juices flowing on a chilly morning

    Aroma-sthesia® candles are not just the key to feeling happier and more relaxed, but they also help to create a calm, inviting atmosphere that can improve the mood of your home.

    That’s the power of scent!

    Looking to boost your wellbeing, relax and de-stress? 

    Check out Aroma-sthesia® Handcrafted Candles Created by Tiffany Moon. 

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