If you have a home that smells wonderful all the time, you may be reaping some health benefits without even knowing it. Scientists have long known that scent plays a powerful role in emotion and mood, and scented candles will do the job, too. Read on for how common scents impact the way you feel.
It's no accident that a whiff of lemon on a spring day makes you feel just a bit cheerier. A on 12 participants diagnosed with depression found that a citrus fragrance (made mostly of lemon) markedly lowered the dosages of antidepressants the patients needed. It also boosted immune function and regulated hormone levels.
Meyer Lemon Candle, $20,
Try adding the scent of jasmine to your bedtime routine (just be sure to blow out the candle before dozing off!). presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Conference in 2011 found that when 20 participants slept in rooms scented with jasmine, they moved less during sleep and rated their anxiety levels lower, compared to when they slept in rooms scented with lavender or nothing at all.
Midnight jasmine candle, $28,
To set the mood, light a candle. conducted by The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago, a variety of scents were found to get fellas in the mood. One of them? Cinnamon buns. Others on the list included pumpkin pie and donuts (combined), black licorice, buttered popcorn, cheese pizza and roasting meat. We're sensing a theme here.
Cinnamon Bun + Nutmeg Candle, $28,
If you don't have a lawn to mow to get that "freshly-cut grass" scent, light a candle. have found that the scent of freshly-cut grass directly affects the part of the brain that's responsible for emotion and memory, and can ultimately lower stress. Preventing chronic stress means lower blood pressure, less forgetfulness and a stronger immune system.
Wildflower Meadow Candle, $20,
Aromatherapists often suggest rosemary for an effective . It has stimulating properties that fight mental fatigue, physical exhaustion and headaches. Try lighting a rosemary candle on those days you just can't get out of bed.
Rosemary Eucalyptus Candle, $60,
Feeling scatter-brained? Set out a peppermint candle. A small found that the scent of peppermint may be linked to greater motivation, cognitive stamina and overall performance. It's even been used to help .
Qualitas Pepppermint Leaf Candle, $68,
Just the smell of olive oil can help curb your cravings by making you feel full. from the German Research Center for Food Chemistry, researchers found that having the scent of olive oil associated with dinner reduced how many calories participants consumed and improved their blood sugar response.
Maison Noir Vervaine Olive Leaf Scented Candle, $27,
In Japan, the stress-relieving effects of pine are so well-known that a therapeutic walk in the woods is known as shinrin-yoku, which means to "take in the atmosphere of the forest." of 498 healthy volunteers found that a 15-minute forest stroll per day can dramatically decrease hostility and depression.
Le Labo pine and musk candle, $75,
When examined the effect of roses versus rotten eggs on women's dreams, the results weren't surprising — given that smell is known to be closely related with the brain's emotional and behavioral control centers. Women who were exposed to a rotten-egg smell were more likely to have nightmares, while those exposed to rose were likely to have happy dreams. Light a rose candle during your evening bath to get in the happy-dream mood.
Roses Scented Candle, $64,
Have a headache or sore back? Light an almond candle. Canadian researchers to keep their hands in scorching hot water as long as they could while exposed to various odors. Women in particular experienced less pain when exposed to pleasant scents like almond extract, while unpleasant scents like vinegar increased pain. (It didn't make a difference for men, but both genders reported better moods when smelling enjoyable scents).
Sweet Almond & Macaron Candle, $65,