WOMB is getting sensual: Why your 5th sense is your super-power

Our eyes and ears are being bombed with impulses and stimulants, but let’s find out what powers are hidden in scents and fragrances. 

"Scents can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self-confidence, and physical and cognitive performance," says Theresa Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute, and it is proven that anosmia—complete loss of the sense of smell—often leads to depression. [1]

Our sight and hearing are constantly exposed to stimulations. Amounts of visual and audio content that we are being spammed with are completely out of control, and we do not even register/remember the half of it! Our days consist of mindless scrolls through social media, or article reads of which headlines we can barely recall just few minutes after we finish reading. There is too much to see, to much to listen to, and we often find ourselves tuning out. Even though we are aware of how distracted our eyes and ears might be, we still tend to mostly trust what we hear and what we see, and we sometimes forget how powerful of a receptor our nostrils are!

“Our sense of smell can be used to deliver instant relaxation”,

says Pamela Dalton, a sensory psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia. [2] She recommends to pick a distinctive odor, then pair that aroma with a calming meditation session. After a few sessions, the odor itself will elicit a relaxed state, even when you don't have time to meditate (Pavlov’s dog, anyone?).

But what scent is good? Which one should you pick?

Peppermint is generally invigorating. According to Bryan Raudenbush, a psychologist at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, peppermint scent increases activity in the brain area that wakes us up in the morning. His research has shown that exercisers run faster and do more push-ups when exposed to the scent. 

Cypress aids toxin removal. A 2007 study conducted at the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt, found that isolated compounds in cypress essential oil, including cosmosiin, caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid, showed hepatoprotective activity. [3] That means cleansing and protection of our livers, organs responsible for clearing the blood of drugs and other harmful substances and regulating blood clotting. 

Lavender is typically relaxing. Exposure to lavender scent can decrease heart rate. Avery Gilbert, a sensory psychologist in Montclair, New Jersey suggests to use the scent for unwinding at bedtime or to take several whiffs to recharge during work breaks. Japanese researchers find that the practice helps prevent an afternoon slump in concentration. [4] 

But how do I find and apply these scents, you ask? You can buy/use essential oils, put a few drops on your body, your pillow, or simply get a scent diffuser for your home. Also, you can find all the above mentioned fragrances in soy-wax scent candles by MIAMIKO. The vegan, cruelty-free and hand-made candles burn much longer than paraffin ones, and they’re a natural, more fragrant alternative to chemical scent candles. “Relaxed” contains notes of lavender, you can find peppermint in “Grounded”, and cypress in “Energized”.

Don’t underestimate the power of your nostrils!