November 07, 2019 3 min read 3 Comments
Scent is a powerful thing. It can make your mouth water, get your heart pumping and even trigger long-forgotten memories. And, while humans aren’t exactly famous for having great senses of smell — especially when compared to a lot of other mammals — ours' can still be pretty powerful.
At Rocky, scent is an essential part of every product we create. To evoke an experience, we often apply the principles of aromatherapy to our products with the help of our in-house herbalist, Tara.
But why does scent have such an impact on your mind and body? It's all thanks to a complex system of nerves in your brain called the limbic system.
The limbic system involves areas of the brain that help control instinct and mood, as well as olfaction (your sense of smell). And these processes can work together to trigger memories, the way Vanilla Coconut Body Lotion might remind you of applying sunscreen on a sun-soaked vacation, or Lavender Everything Wash could conjure up images of the back garden in your house from when you were little.
This is how it works: after a smell enters the nose, it travels through the cranial nerve to the olfactory bulb, which helps the brain process smells. As a member of the limbic system, the olfactory bulb can easily access the amygdala, which plays a role in emotional memories (it’s also where the "fight or flight" reflex comes from).
Scent can also be therapeutic because the right aroma can work to boost your mood and invigorate and energize you. If you’re feeling anxious, a scent can help you ground and centre yourself. And if you’re suffering from a cold, yet another scent can help you breathe a little easier.
Maybe you’ve relaxed in a steam room before and felt the clearing power of eucalyptus through deep inhalations. Eucalyptus is largely composed of eucalyptol — which may help clear sinuses and relieve congestion. The main constituent of peppermint oil is menthol, a natural decongestant. If you’re feeling under the weather, drawing a hot bath and tossing in a Minty Eucalyptus Bath Bomb or some Just Breathe Wellness Salts can help you breathe a little easier.
Citrus sparks positivity, which probably explains why our orange, lemongrass and citron scents tend to be such bestsellers. But not only do they smell juicy and fresh, these fragrant oils lift spirits, ease anxiety and stimulate your appetite. So let your stress melt away by lathering up with the Juicy Orange Bar Soap or scrub away your worries with Blood Orange Sugar Body Scrub.
When you think calming scents, lavender tends to reign supreme. Known for its soothing properties, the use of lavender in bathwater can be traced back over 2500 years to the Greek and Roman empires. They also used it to wash their faces and stuff their pillows for easier sleep. You can use it to help you drift off, either as an essential oil, or as part of a relaxing bubble bath.
You can use scent throughout your day to experience its many benefits. Perhaps it’s an energizing blend of citrusy essential oils in your diffuser to help wake you up, or using rosemary to ease tension when you hit the 3 p.m. slump. And, of course, there's always lavender when you're looking to wind down.
You can take the power of aromatherapy on-the-go with DIY wellness sprays. Just add a few drops of your favourite essential oil to water in a spray bottle and spritz on your body, clothes and even your linens to refresh yourself and your home.
Diffusers are another great way to fill your home with enticing fragrances. Just add water and essential oils for an aromatherapeutic experience to relieve stress and give you a boost.
So go ahead — get creative and play around. And remember that it's okay if you don't get the same responses as most people. Maybe lavender reminds you of a relative's funky perfume and peppermint is instead your go-to for relaxation and refreshment. Find the aromas that work for you and harness the power of scent in your life.
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