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Changing Our Environment Through Scent

The sun rising over the Arizona desert

Few things lift my spirit as much as sunshine and fresh, vibrant scents. Whether it’s the crisp smell of early morning air or that of a freshly cut orange, nothing lifts me up quite as powerfully as fragrance. And so, I try to incorporate uplifting scents as much as possible into my daily life.

My response to scent is not unique. Scent molecules are processed by the olfactory bulb which has a direct connection to the amygdala in our brain; the amygdala is part of our limbic system and has a primary role in emotional responses. What we smell, therefore, elicits an emotional reaction in us. It’s one of the reasons why the majority of us find a walk in the woods, with its earthy, refreshing smells, so invigorating.

As spring cleaning is underway, what better time to incorporate uplifting scents into our environment? One quick and easy way to accomplish this is with candles. As you know, at LYB we carry a wide selection of delicious candles from brands like Voluspa and Panier des Sens. It’s easy to grab a lighter and let a candle burn while you’re doing things around the house. The scent then lingers for hours. Another option is to use room sprays like twig + birdie’s smudge. They deliver an instant, powerful burst of brightness and instantly change the whole energy of a room.

One of my favorite techniques is diffusing essential oils. I have different blends for different times. For example, I have a special blend for my kids’ bedtime to help them relax. It’s heavy on eucalyptus which, as we all know from visiting the spa, puts us immediately at ease. I also have a favorite blend for this time of year when spring is making its appearance and hinting at all the freshness that is coming our way. I diffuse it in my home office as I work. It consists of:

3 drops of wintergreen

1 drop of basil

1 drop of orange

1 drop of grapefruit

1 drop of lemon

1 drop of lime

In the evenings, when I want to unwind, disconnect from the noise of my daily life, and establish a deeper connection with my spirituality, I use 4 drops of frankincense and 4 drops of lemon. Aside from having spiritual undertones because of the frankincense, this scent reminds me of the Arizona desert, and the many stunning walks I have taken in it.

I use Young Living essential oils, but you can use any essential oil you deem safe to ingest, because you are actually absorbing the molecules as they travel through the air and into your nose.

And don’t forget about personal fragrance. My favorite at the moment is simple sandalwood essential oil for its warmth and earthiness. Whichever you prefer, perfume is essentially a way for us to be enveloped in a scent all day long. It’s a powerful way to keep feeding our amygdala messages, and by doing so, establishing a certain mood for the day.

I hope these suggestions remind you of how powerfully scent transforms our environment as you go about your spring cleaning. They are a fun way to bring the blooming happening outside our window into our homes and lives.

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