Scents Affect Mood
Scents Affect Mood
SCENTS AFFECT MOOD
With each season comes distinctive scents
You’ll likely know from experience that the way a space smells can affect your mood. If you’re in a place that has an unpleasant odor, you are more likely to be in a bad mood. The brain might react to certain scents, but it also seems moods can be influenced by odors. In one study, people who were exposed to natural plant odors were more calm, alert, and in a more chipper mood than those in an odor-free environment. (Weber, 2008) Research suggests scents such as orange, lavender, coffee, or licorice can give snifers a longer attention span when presented with information. (Seo, 2010) The smell of cleaning supplies might even make people more generous, and people in clean-smelling environments could be more likely to engage in charitable behavior.
Our sense of smell is the strongest of the five senses, and the one most tied to memory and emotion.
75% of all emotions generated every day are due to smell.
Scent affects mood, concentration, memory recall, and emotion. Research shows there is a 40% improvement in mood after being exposed to pleasant scents.
What Can Scents Do For a Business?
Scented areas are perceived as high-end and more classy. For example, a Nike study showed scent affected desirability of shoes in 84% of subjects, with subjects willing to pay 10% - 20% more in scented environments.
Improve Employee Productivity and Satisfaction
Different scents can improve environments and influence emotions and reactions. For example, a Japanese company found that lavender and jasmine soothed data entry operator stress, while a lemon scent increased productivity by up to 54%.
Promote a Theme or Product
Scent can add character to a themed environment, help customers “escape” to another place, or promote a product. For example, a well-known night club in London doubled their sales of a particular Malibu drink by introducing a coconut scent into the atmosphere.
Ambient Scent Can Reduce Perceived Waiting Times and Improve Customer Evaluations of Service
Vanilla can reduce claustrophobia in MRI facilities, calm pre-surgery & dental patients, and reduce patient cancellations. Neutralizing unpleasant odors for patients with a heightened sense of smell will also soothe and comfort. Citrus uplifts and helps ease anxiety for these types of situations.
The Methodology and Benefits of Scents to Mood
Researchers have found the use of fragrance can reduce anxiety for people in stressful situations. For example, when undergoing an MRI scan in a hospital; Manne and Redd used fragrance materials to reduce distress during magnetic resonance imaging. Eighty-five patients undergoing MRI scans participated in the trial at Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Centre. Patients that were exposed to a sweet vanilla scent experienced 63% less overall anxiety than those not exposed. Scents do not only reduce stress but affect our sleep. Peppermint, for example, can stimulate the brain and thus disturb sleep. Heliotropin, however, a vanilla-like smell, can relax the brain and enhance sleep.
Craig and Warrenburg developed a self-administered, quantitative method that measures subjective mood changes evoked by fragrances. They found that eight factors of mood are affected by scents. These include:
Basically, scents are emotional.
Perhaps, the most striking reaction to scents is involved with memories. Almost everyone has experienced a rush of emotion after encountering a certain scent. Images of pies, a new car, or even a first kiss, can all be brought to mind with one simple smell. This is because the human odor response is controlled by the brain’s limbic system, the same system that controls our emotional response, artistic abilities, and perception of space. This is why scents can be important to us, which is why we seek them out in our products and daily environment.
It is overall accepted that a simple smell of scents can influence mood, memory, emotions, stress, sustained attention & problem solving, and the ability to communicate by smell without knowing it. The effects mentioned can be elicited both by consciously & subliminally perceived odors. Each scent can have a different effect on mood, creating far more research and discoveries.