How fragrance can be used to alter your mood, according to a psychologist

Find your scent, find your moment

July 14 2021

As far as beauty products go, fragrance is up there as one of the most powerful. 

Certain smells can conjure all kinds of emotions, which are personal to each and every one of us. The right scent can send your confidence soaring, promote a sense of wellbeing and even calm anxieties.  

It’s also why perfume is so subjective and why different people are drawn to different notes or certain fragrance families.  

To help us navigate this connection between our minds and our olfactory senses, BEAUTYcrew spoke to Environmental Psychologist and Wellbeing Consultant, Lee Chambers who says, “our olfactory system has an intimate relationship with other parts of our brain, especially areas connected with emotion, memory and learning.”

He explains that given where our olfactory bulbs are situated (right near the brain), we often associate scents with experiences, which in turn have attached emotions. “In addition, because of the deep relationship between these areas, scents can directly impact how we feel when we come into contact with them.”

And aside from individual tastes and experiences, there are certain fragrance families that can conjure certain emotions and promote different aspects of wellbeing.

#1/ Floral

The floral fragrance family is a broad one, but Chambers says it can be great for promoting “calm, positivity and reducing feelings of stress and overwhelm.”

Being such a popular scent category, floral fragrances can also provide a feeling of blissful escape, drawing upon memories from our past and present.  

Take the crisp, vibrant floral of Elizabeth Arden’s White Tea EDT for example. This peaceful fragrance complements its floral heart with notes of sea breeze accord – a moment swinging in a hammock on a balcony by the ocean springs to mind. 

Elizabeth Arden White Tea EDT, $78 (100ml)

#2/ Citrus

If you’ve always found the zesty, punchy scents of citrus invigorating, you’re not wrong. 

“Scents like lemon and orange give us assured energy that provides us with a boost of confidence and performance, giving us a feeling that we can handle oncoming challenges,” says Chambers.

Thanks to the energised feeling citrus fragrances evoke, you may also experience an increase in productivity with a sparkling scent by your side. If you’re looking to capture such a sense of revitalisation, the bright meadow-like spritz of  Elizabeth White Tea Mandarin Blossom EDT will add a pep to your step.

Elizabeth White Tea Mandarin Blossom EDT , $78 (100ml)

#3/ Spice

After a sense of adventure or an unexpected twist to your day? The often-overlooked spice family has its own unique set of benefits for the brain.

Chambers explains that “commonalities [in the spice family] appear in promoting focus and balance, alertness and reducing feelings of fatigue.”

If you’ve been finding your fragrance collection to be a bit of a snooze of late, we’d highly recommend spicing things up (literally) with the Elizabeth Arden White Tea Gingerlily EDT. It combines the tranquility of floral with the pep of citrus, but it’s the spice of gingerlily that’ll exhilarate your spirit at every spritz.

Elizabeth Arden White Tea Gingerlily EDT, $78 (100ml)

#4/ Musk

Musk is a magnificent inclusion in any fragrance concoction, as Chambers says it’s associated “with feelings of being grounded, safe and [can] incite human connection.”

It pairs well with calming florals, zesty citruses and uplifting spice, which is why it’s a common thread within the White Tea EDT range and a base note many find appealing. 

If you’re unsure which of the above combinations to choose or are intrigued to use your olfactory senses to find a new fragrance specifically tailored to you, Elizabeth Arden’s Fragrance Finder quiz can help point you in the right direction. 

After all, fragrance is both personal and powerful, so you want to get it right.


Main image credit: Getty

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