smell and happiness

The key to happiness might be right under your nose. Our sense of smell is the most powerful of all our senses and is best able to influence brain activity. Basically, this is because the olfactory bulbs, located at the back of the nose, are hot-wired to the limbic system. The limbic system is a complex network in the brain that is responsible for a variety of behaviours and brain functions including emotion, motivation, and long-term memory. This makes our sense of smell our most memorable sense. It is why so often a smell will trigger a memory and remind us of something or someone.  We remember smells for much longer than sights, sounds, tastes and feelings.



Having learned this, it comes as no surprise that smelling something we find pleasant, can have a positive effect on the mind and help to uplift our mood. In her book, the Scent of Desire, Rachel Hertz delves into the impact scent has on our moods, health, well-being and memory. “An odour has no personal significance until it becomes connected to something that has meaning. With your initial encounter, you begin forming nerve connections that intertwine the smell with emotions…” A simple inhalation of an aroma can cause many changes in the body, including activating the immune system, affecting blood pressure and stimulating digestion.


Smells that make you happy according to science

Scientific research has found that we have specific psychological reactions to these particular scents.

Pine: Research has found that this festive aroma, helps to reduce stress. Japan’s Kyoto University studied a Japanese custom of taking a soothing forest stroll known as shinrin-yoku, or “forest bathing”. Depression and anxiety were significantly reduced in participants on days they walked through the country’s pine-filled woods.

Citrus: If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, try sniffing some citrus. The smell of the vitamin C-packed fruits boosts energy and alertness. Studies have also revealed that lemon scents in particular can reduce stress.

Fresh cut grass: Researchers in Australia have found that a chemical released by freshly cut grass can cause people to become more relaxed and even feel joy.

Lavender: Lavender is well-documented for its calming effects. It helps to control emotional stress and even easing insomnia and depression.

Jasmine: Jasmine boosts one’s mood and is commonly used as an anti-depressant. This is thanks to its uplifting capabilities that produce a feeling of confidence, optimism and revitalized energy.

Rosemary: Studies have found that the smell of the herb enhanced participants’ ability to remember complex events and tasks.

Peppermint: Oil from the peppermint leaf can elevate your mood and stimulate your mind and body.

Cinnamon. The stimulating properties in cinnamon can help fight mental fatigue and improve concentration and focus.




Harnessing the power of scent

The exploding scent market, from perfumes, room fragrances, and scented candles, to reed diffusers, bears testimony to the growing realisation that scent can have a hugely positive impact on people, their moods and behaviour.

Scented personal care products oriented towards health, wellness and anti-aging abound. Candles, once a necessity, today serve as elements of home decor and ambiance enhancers. Reed diffusers have also increased in popularity, providing a subtle, long-lasting addition to room fragrance layering. Retailers are even realising that using scents in their stores entices customers to stay and shop longer, ultimately spending more.

Scenting is quite complex. Creating the perfect scent experience can be compared to the creation of a symphony of smells. It requires a delicate balance. A good quality, balanced fragrance can be a powerful tool to creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere invoking feelings of contentment, happiness or excitement.


Who is Votivo

Votivo, is a luxury home fragrance company that has established a global reputation for quality fragrances and distinctive packaging since its inception in 1994.  When it comes to luxury candles, Votivo Aromatic Candles are among the most prized for their rich scents and beauty. Votivo candles famously rapidly fill any room with a wonderful array of perfectly balanced scents that last. Each Votivo candle is hand-wrapped and each pewter seal is hand-pressed, adding to the exclusive feel of the brand.


The Aromatic Red Currant collection

Votivo Red Currant

Votivo’s most iconic fragrance, Red Currant has amassed a loyal following worldwide. This brand classic has scented rooms for celebrities like Madonna and remains one of Votivo’s top sellers worldwide. A strong loyalty from the customer base for a brand or a particular candle is by far the best litmus test available for a good candle or other home fragrance product.

As regards the actual scent, the first impression or top note is an earthy green, tart citrus scent. Then Cassis (think blackcurrant liqueur) and tropical fruit sneak in to create the foundation of the fragrance.  And finally, a pleasant musky aroma lingers once the top note and foundation scents evaporate. It’s an earthy, tart not sweet, fruity but fresh fragrance with a lingering warmth to it. I think it’s a perfectly balanced fragrance that’s neither overtly feminine nor strongly masculine. It’s a calming scent with citrus tones that uplift and boost alertness and focus. The perfect scent for my office where it is currently burning.


Shop Votivo fragrances in South Africa

We’ve partnered with the wonderful ladies at the Grace Collection in South Africa to bring this amazing scent experience to the local fashion world and our readers.  You can now shop a selection of the Aromatic Red Currant range online through Equilibrio. Click here to see what we have in store. We even have attractive auto fragrances for Dad’s car! We also stock Votivo’s stunningly elegant Soziety range adored by celebrities like Jamie Fox. I have the Gorgeous Grey Reed Diffuser and Candles in my bedroom and dressing room. The stunning packaging makes these the perfect gift for someone special.

Find your happiness and indulge in some quality home fragrances. Scenting really is a wonderful way to create a sanctuary of calm and peace, where you can restore after a busy day.


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