How Fragrance Can Benefit Your Mental Wellbeing

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How Fragrance Can Benefit Your Mental Well-being

9.23.23
three stones resting on top of each other representing calm
Have you ever marvelled at the way a certain scent soothes your soul while another uplifts your spirits? Our sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we have, wielding an extraordinary influence over our emotions and moods through its inextricable link to memory.  

The artisans at The House of Creed are dedicated to the fine art of perfumery, crafting exquisite creations that not only delight the senses but also nurture the soul. Here, we explore the theme of aromachology with esteemed fragrance expert Eva Carlo, delving into the profound interplay between fragrance and mental wellbeing. 

What Is Aromachology? 

Derived from the words “aroma” and “psychology”, the term aromachology refers to the scientific study of the interrelationship between an aroma and human psychology. It focuses on the response of the nervous system to divergent scents and the subsequent impact on human behaviour, emotions and moods. 

How Does Perfume Fit Into This? 

Whilst in aromatherapy, the aromas come just from essential oils, aromachology looks at aromas in general, including both natural and synthetic ingredients, to identify their connection to scent memory. The brain logs scents like a diary entry; each smell is registered within the memory so the next time you encounter that same scent, you may be whisked back to that initial experience, whether positive or negative.  

A fragrance may remind you of a person, or an intimate embrace you exchanged where the scent lingered. Often the scent you associate with your mother, father or home environment would be one of security, nostalgia and happiness. Similarly, there is a reason why many soldiers during World War II carried handkerchiefs imbued with their loved one’s perfume: so that in the midst of chaos, they could transport themselves back to tender moments of love and affection, transcending the darkest of times. Indeed, it is moments like these that help us truly understand the power perfumes can have on our overall mental well-being. 

If Fragrance Is Personal, How Can We Have A Collective Reaction? 

Certain smells can provoke a collective response on account of wider cultural and societal norms. Consider the humble lemon, an ingredient that evokes a sense of freshness for many, perhaps due to its ubiquity within household cleaning products. The same is true of peppermint and its association with feeling cool, clean and invigorated, likely owing to its omnipresence in toothpaste. 

Which Fragrance Ingredients Can Improve My Mental Wellbeing? 

The quest to enhance one’s mental wellbeing through scent is a deeply personal pursuit anchored in an individual’s unique sensibilities and their intimate associations with smell. While there is no written rule, master perfumers have long championed using fragrance families as a point of departure to determine which olfactive compositions might best support the wearer’s own emotional needs.

Fruity Fragrances: Best For Awakening And Energising The Mind 

Fruity fragrances are often fun, playful, and energising in nature. Citrus fruits in particular – notably lemon, bergamot, orange and lime – can have an uplifting quality, reinvigorating your mind and your mood. Indeed, for some, fruity aromas may conjure up fond memories in the sun, or early adventures through abundant orchards, inspiring an unparalleled sense of joy and rejuvenation.   

An enlivening everyday choice is Aventus Cologne, a fruity yet aromatic composition that bursts with vibrant mandarin for an instant surge of vitality. Richer fruits can have similar mood-enhancing powers with succulently sweet apple, apricot, melon and peach promoting a bold, flirtatious and youthful freshness. Spring Flower, a vibrant olfactive tribute to feminine energy, perfectly illustrates this, reviving the wearer with a single spritz.  

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Marine Fragrances: Best For Calming And Resetting The Mind  

Evoking salty seas and sun-kissed shores, marine fragrances promote tranquillity and bring a sense of calm to busy minds. They tap into the subconscious scent memory and deliver a dose of nostalgia, often triggering memories of idyllic coastal escapes or peaceful seaside retreats. Also referred to as aquatic scents, marine fragrances are clean, fresh and versatile in nature, fostering a sense of calm and inner harmony. 

Olivier Creed has long been fond of this fragrance family, crafting one of the most treasured marine scents in history with Erolfa, an Eau de Parfum that encapsulates a serene sail across the Mediterranean Sea in the heat of summer. Other marine creations from The House of Creed include universally adored Millésime Impérial and a more cooling aquatic composition in Silver Mountain Water. Each scent offers an olfactive oasis to the wearer, leaving them ready to hit the reset button.  

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Woody Fragrances: Best For Feeling Strong And Grounded 

Characterised by their rich, earthy aromas, woody fragrances capture dominant notes of woods, roots or leaves, from sandalwood and cedarwood to patchouli, birch and vetiver. Woody fragrances provide a unique cocooned feeling that grounds the wearer and taps into their inner strength.  

Whilst not woods themselves, ingredients such as vanilla, ambergris and musk are often captured within woody compositions to enhance the rich aromas of this type of fragrance. Each note lends its own signature nuance, with musk heightening the cocooning impression, ambergris drawing out more mineral elements and vanilla imparting a sumptuous softness. 

Revered men’s fragrance Aventus is a rich amalgamation of these ingredients; birch, patchouli, vanilla, musk and ambergris all intertwine for a sophisticated olfactive impression that celebrates strength, power and success. Meanwhile, Original Vetiver is a bold reinvention of traditional vetiver offerings, using both the root and the leaves alongside sandalwood, ambergris and musk to deliver a fresh yet earthy classic men’s fragrance. With its alluring air of freshness reminiscent of lingering summers, this creation will leave the wearer feeling invigorated yet grounded.  

On the other end of the woody spectrum, Original Santal inspires a more sensual and indulgent feeling. Warming and spicy with an air of tranquillity, this majestic masterpiece taps into your inner spiritual strength, leaving you feeling calm and collected with its blend of sandalwood, cedarwood, vanilla, ambergris and musk combined with herbal lavender, rosemary and pink peppercorn. 

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Floral Fragrances: Best For Promoting Purity And Relieving Stress  

Conjuring up spring blooms and freshly cut bouquets, there is nothing that lifts the spirits quite like a flower. Each bloom of course tells its own story, but it seems that for many, white flowers are the ultimate symbol of purity and peace, not just in bouquets but in floral fragrances, too. 

Blooms such as jasmine, magnolia, white iris and neroli flower have long been considered “clean” aromas that help to cleanse the mind and relieve stress. The master perfumers at The House of Creed have enriched many an olfactive offering with these heavenly notes to provide an uplifting twist. This rich concoction of clean, white florals can be found within White Flowers from Les Royales Exclusives collection, romantic Fleurissimo and the latest entrancing creation for women, Queen Of Silk. 

A less traditional take on this clean, white floral scent is Virgin Island Water; typically described as a fruity fragrance, this gourmand scent of the tropics also captures floral ingredients, including ylang ylang and jasmine, alongside more tropical blooms with tiare flower and herbaceous accord. 

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Fougère Fragrances: Best For Soothing And Relieving Anxiety  

Derived from the French term for “fern”, a “fougère” fragrance is reminiscent of nature, characterised by an aromatic yet fresh composition with a dry, grassy, hay-like dry-down. Classic fougère fragrances are a masterful alchemy of lavender, oakmoss, geranium and bergamot, transporting the wearer to the great outdoors or a calming oasis in nature where they can soothe their mind and relieve anxiety. Indeed, the lavender note in particular draws out the cooling and soothing effect of these fragrances.  

Discover classic fougères from The House of Creed, from contemporary classic Green Irish Tweed to its bolder offering in Viking. 

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Your Custom Well-Being Ritual 

It is important to note that fragrances often sit across several families, therefore one single perfume may offer multiple wellness benefits. Identify the specific notes within a fragrance and use the guide above to tap into the mood-enhancing powers that matter to you. 

Once you have selected your fragrance, craft a meaningful application ritual to help create an association within your brain. For instance, if you have invested in an energising fruity fragrance, start your day with a morning spritz to awaken your mind and to help it to associate that scent with the dawn of a new day. 

If you need further assistance with tailoring a well-being olfactive ritual to you, venture into your nearest boutique where a Creed ambassador would be delighted to assist you.