When designing your home, it’s important to realize that scent plays a large role in making a good home. Our sense of smell has a strong connection with emotions and feelings, so it’s important not to overlook this crucial detail.
In another article, we discussed the importance of keeping your home clean to prevent bad odors. If you’ve got your house’s cleaning under control, the next step is to introduce other ways of making your home smell wonderful.
One of the ways you can do that is through the use of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy, or sometimes called as essential oil therapy, uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. One way to do aromatherapy is through the use of diffusers.
In another article, the difference between diffusers, humidifiers, and purifiers was discussed. Diffusers are set apart from humidifiers and purifiers because of their use of essential oils.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that retain the natural smell and flavor– or “essence” — of plants. These are obtained after compounds from plants have been extracted, it can be done through distillation (use of steam and/or water), mechanical methods (such as cold pressing), or through chemical methods. It’s important to know how essential oils are obtained because those that are obtained through chemical processes are not considered true essential oils.
Essential oils can either be inhaled or diluted and rubbed on the skin. When it is inhaled, the aroma can help stimulate areas of the limbic system, which is a part of the brain that is involved with emotion, behavior, sense of smell, and long term memory. When it is applied to the skin, the essence can be absorbed.
Essential oils come with their own unique smell and potential health benefits. Here are a few of them according to Natural Living Ideas:
- Eucalyptus – bold, fresh minty aroma with a hint of honey
- Lavender – comforting, sweet, and floral aroma
- Lemon – powerfully zesty and citrusy aroma
- Oregano – the perfect combination of warmth, earth, and spice
- Peppermint – powerful, minty-fresh, camphoraceous, cool, and distinctive fragrance
- Rosemary – woody, herbal and slightly balsamic aroma
- Tea Tree – fresh, herbal and slightly camphoraceous aroma
We talk more about these essential oils in another article.
All in all, essential oils have an array of benefits depending on the oils you use, it’s said to:
- manage pain
- improve sleep quality
- reduce stress, agitation, and anxiety
- soothe sore joints
- treat headaches and migraines
- alleviate side effects of chemotherapy
- ease discomforts of labor
- fight bacteria, virus, or fungus
- improve digestion
- improve hospice and palliative care
- boost immunity
There is still a debate on the actual effectiveness of aromatherapy. However, in published medical research from the Department of Psychiatry in Mie University School of Medicine, Japan, it was found that “citrus fragrance can restore the stress-induced immunosuppression, suggesting that citrus fragrance may have an effect on restoring the homeostatic balance.” Their research found that doses of antidepressants necessary for the treatment of depression could be markedly reduced with the help of the citrus fragrance.
When choosing which scents to incorporate in your rooms, Gemma Hopkins, fragrance expert and founder of Design in Scent says, “when you choose which home fragrances to use, consider how it will harmonize with its surroundings and ensure it complements the mood that you have curated through visual design.”
With that said, you need to think about the different elements that come into play when in a room, what cleaning products are used, if there are pets around, the activities you do in a room, and so on. In an article by Reader’s Digest, they suggest the following room-scent combinations.
Try using citrus scents or herbs like lavender or mint. Citrus scents are bright and fresh and good for eliminating cooking scents.
The room where we want to relax, try going for lavender, chamomile, or sandalwood. These are scents that promote sleep and relaxation.
You can use peppermint for this room. Research finds that peppermint can help make you more alert, less anxious, and less fatigued.
The Living Room
This is the room where you entertain your guests, the scent here should be soft and light. Try using cedarwood or sandalwood with a hint of lavender or vanilla.