How fragrance can affect your mood

Most of us love the smell of the sea. It takes us back to our childhood — days at the beach, jumping in the waves, building sandcastles.

“Of all the senses, smell is powerfully and potently connected to long-term memory,” says Unilever’s consultant neuroscientist, Dr Pradeep. “It's one neuronal click away from the hippocampus.” (This is the part of our brains that stores our memory).

Scents have the power to alter our emotions because they're driven by our memories. So when we smell the sea, we feel energised and happy. “What's more,” says Dr Pradeep “across humanity many fragrances share the same memory associations.”

Try these scents if you want to improve the wellbeing of your family or influence your mood.

Lavender for relaxation
Smelling lavender

Lavender for relaxation

This soothing scent has been used for generations as an essential oil to calm the body and mind. Because of its beneficial association with sleep and the treatment of insomnia, it's a wonderful fragrance to use when washing your family's bed linen.

A Comfort product you might want to try is: Lavender and Magnolia

Fresh cut lawn for uplift

Reminiscent of sunshine and carefree school holidays, the smell of freshly mown grass can put a spring in your step and a smile on your face.

Citrus for energy

A healthy alternative to coffee, the zingy scent of oranges and lemons is a wonderful way to start the day. Dr Pradeep says we make this association because citrus grows in hot countries where it's used in cool drinks. So, a citrus aroma can make us feel refreshed.

White Flowers

Jasmine for joy

The potent fragrance of jasmine is reputed to have the power to boost your spirits. No wonder, this tiny white flower releases its rich aroma at night, bringing a joyful aroma to the darkness. Happily we can capture the oil and enjoy the scent during the day too.

Peppermint for concentration

Long before school kids started chewing gum, the sharp, clean scent of peppermint was associated with concentration. More recently it’s been linked to better performance during workouts, due to an increase of oxygen to the brain. It's not surprising then, that it’s reputed to be able to keep us awake and focused. Put a drop or two on a tissue and keep it in your pocket for moments when you need to pay close attention.

Rosemary for a pick-me-up

Native to the South America and the Mediterranean, rosemary is thought to have therapeutic properties which can rejuvenate and revitalise. The scent has also been linked with remembrance – Shakespeare even references it in Hamlet. Recent research shows that burning the essential oil can improve performance in memory-based tests. So, it's worth remembering to try it in a diffuser (with a tea light candle) when you need an energy boost during a long day. 

Comfort fabric conditioners come in a range of fragrances to match your mood and freshen your day.