Psychology of Smell: The Power of Scent

 

Have you ever inhaled something lovely and wondered why it makes you feel so warm and fuzzy inside? If your answer is no, you’re not the only one. In fact, most people have never taken a moment to ponder, let alone explore how important our sense of smell is. The truth is that our sense of smell affects our mood and emotions just as much, if not more than any of our other senses. It’s easy to feel gratitude for the sensation of touch, the beauty of sight, the delight of taste, and the excitement that comes from hearing, but how often do we stop to appreciate the gift of scent? As bizarre as it may seem, our noses effectively determine how we observe and respond to the atmosphere and many sensations surrounding us.

 

After a long, sleepless night spent studying or tackling a big project, it’s the wafting scent of your morning coffee brewing that pulls you out of your zombie-like state. The bold, refreshing smell of your favorite blend somehow flips a switch in your mind and before you know it, you’re ready to take on the tasks ahead. When you’re wearing your preferred perfume or cologne, you may find yourself walking a little taller and speaking a little louder. Amazingly, giving off a pleasant scent not only boosts confidence, but can make you feel more attractive. What smell does to us, psychologically, is fascinating. How captivating is it that a single smell can change the course of your entire day or make you react in a particular way? Our noses acknowledge the lingering scent of newly blossomed flowers and rainfall, all the while reminding us of the beautiful aromas that compose our daily lives. We truly do not give our noses enough credit for filling our mundane routine with scented wonder and keeping us connected with what’s happening around us at any given moment. After reading this article, we hope you’ll reconsider the significance of that adorable, hard-working sniff engine on your face. We’ll also take you on a walk down memory lane with our finest Luxe Intuition candle and wax melt scent combinations. So without further delay, prepare to have your mind blown and your senses awoken!

 

Welcome to Our Olfactory Laboratory

 

The bright, zesty fragrance of a freshly peeled orange; the stiff bite of an oak-aged whisky; the sour plum of expired milk - upon the very mention of these various smells, they are recalled in your memory without hesitation. It’s as if you can even smell subtle traces of them now, but why is that? How are we able to distinguish and associate scent profiles with such ease when we have difficulty remembering the color of someone’s eyes? Our olfactory sense is an ancient evolutionary adaptation that, at one point, helped mankind to avoid eating things that might not taste good or, even worse, that could be poisonous. More so than our eyes, our noses have become our own miniature private investigators, toiling 24/7 to protect us from unsafe situations or immediate dangers. Imagine the trouble we would find ourselves in without our steadfast schnozzles! Think of all those instances when you’ve avoided an upset stomach by discarding that piece of spoiled cheese, and let’s not forget about dodging the disaster of a house fire after smelling incinerated food and rushing to turn the stove off. Hey, we’ve all been there!

 

              The psychology of smell is of the utmost importance because it reveals the relationship our nose has with the rest of our senses, as well as our capacity to create and preserve memories. Many psychologists and biologists agree that smell is the only fully developed sense a fetus has access to within the womb, so it makes sense that a child’s perception and understanding of the world around them is formed by their ability to smell. Picture it this way: when reminiscing about your childhood, you may not be able to make out certain details, such as how your mom always wore her hair. However, what will remain forever in your memory is the distinct, citrusy smell of Herbal Essence shampoo that brought you comfort every time she reached in for a hug. From the very beginning of our existence, our meticulous muzzles set out to shape our experiences, our awareness, and even our identities.

 

              So, what is it actually called when a smell triggers a memory? Why does the scent of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven instantly transport you back to your grandma’s kitchen? There’s a technical term for this strange and extraordinary peculiarity: odor-evoked autobiographical memory, otherwise referred to as the Proust phenomenon. The Proust phenomenon, in layman's terms, takes place when a currently observed odor prompts the spontaneous recollection of a past event. Are you ready to fall even further down the rabbit hole? The amygdala and hippocampus are complex structures in our brain that respectively deal with both emotion and memory. When your nose picks up on any smell, that smell then travels directly to the amygdala and hippocampus. This magnificent song and dance allows for the scent to be stored in your brain as a memory, right along with a specific experience or emotion. Today’s lesson in neuroscience brought to you by your friendly neighborhood nerds!

 

              In addition to being the sense most closely associated with memory, smell is intimately coupled with our emotional sensibilities. You can’t deny that the way a person smells directly affects your initial opinion of them. For example, we want to snuggle a bit closer to someone who smells nice, but actively steer clear of individuals who seemingly haven’t bathed in weeks. If you’re getting major Oscar the Grouch living-in-a-trash-can vibes, same! Scientists and psychologists agree that pheromones, or body odor, subconsciously affect our attraction to one another. Surprisingly, the very act of kissing was once a process of intense sniffing to determine whether or not our partner’s smell was appealing. Who would have thought that our suspicious snoot could double as a match-maker?

Reignited, and It Smells so Good!

 

            At Luxe Intuition, we have enthusiastically researched and studied the psychology of smell. As a matter of fact, our deep, impassioned belief in the power of scent is the inspiration behind all of our handcrafted candles and wax melts. We use only the highest grade fragrance and essential oils to create complex aromas that are sure to embrace you with a sense of nostalgia. Every scented note has a purpose; every delicate tincture of aromatic bliss has been deliberately applied with love and care. Why do we put so much thought and attentiveness into our intricate small-batch blends? Well, the answer is simple: bringing you joy brings us joy. Our devotion to our craft is constantly evolving, just as our scent combinations are endlessly developing. Not only do our candles and wax melts smell amazing, but they are ethically made and responsibly sourced using coconut-apricot wax. Coconut-apricot wax is a healthier, more sustainable alternative to soy or paraffin wax, so you can have peace of mind that when you burn our candles in your home, you are not breathing in harmful, toxic chemicals. Now that we’ve given you a glimpse into our magical, candlelit universe, please join us as we highlight a couple of our custom, unique Luxe Intuition luxury fragrance blends.

Luxe Intuition Candles and Wax Melts - The Sophisticate

           

              The cool night breeze felt like a feather brushing against your skin, the stars were an ocean of glitter sparkling above, and you had just returned home from the most romantic evening you could have ever dreamt of. You often find yourself replaying in your mind the stunning bouquet of flowers you received, the candlelit dinner, and the delectable poached pear you shared for dessert. What better way to relive that cherished memory than with The Sophisticate? The Sophisticate candles and wax melts are a sophisticated fragrance fusion of fruits and exhilarating florals. The crisp aromas of yuzu, pear, and mandarin merge beautifully into the overtones of ylang ylang and plum blossom. With the finishing touches of hinoki, apricot wood, and patchouli, The Sophisticate is a floral-forward candle that is sure to take you back to that breathtaking date that you never want to forget.

Luxe Intuition Candles and Wax Melts - Pure Luxe

 

            Our Pure Luxe candles and wax melts are the epitome of pure luxury and decadence met with cozy and carefree. A perfect pairing of smokey and sweet, the tenderly crafted scent profile of Pure Luxe helps rekindle fond memories of you and your loved ones. Perhaps you’ll recount sitting beside your dad on the porch, talking for hours while he slowly sips on a glass of Maker’s Mark and puffs on a cigar. While indulging in this hand-poured scented treasure, you’ll find gentle tinges of orange marmalade, tamarind, and honey that flow effortlessly into the dynamic aromatics of bourbon, coumarin, and clove. Finally, you’ll be immersed in a bittersweet finale of brown sugar and tobacco. The next time you catch yourself missing your old man and getting to hear his wild stories, let Pure Luxe be the light that illuminates those distant, yet timeless precious moments.

A Memory Never Forgotten

 

            Wow, what an adventure we have gone on together: we nose-dived right into the psychology of smell, we did some sniffing around and discovered the power of scent, we even took a ride in the magic school bus to traverse the human brain and uncover the mystery of why smells are linked to our past. Sadly, our sense of smell tends to get no love, but we have learned that our noses are just as vital as any other part of our body. Indeed, our loyal conks warn us of incoming trouble, award us heightened experiences, and essentially allow us to travel back in time to revisit all the wonderful occasions that brought us such happiness. Enthralled by this curious phenomenon, we at Luxe Intuition strive to capture and offer alluring scent combinations, such as The Sophisticate and Pure Luxe. Made with only the best essential oils and fragrance blends, our wood wick candles and wax melts will take you on a peaceful journey through all those unforgettable memories that you hold near and dear to your heart. As we come to the end of this blog, we urge you to follow your intuition, find your enchantment, and pamper your senses with Luxe Intuition!  

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