Aromatherapy, or ‘smell therapy’ has long played a role in making us happy. It’s an ancient way of boosting our happiness levels, as scents trigger memory and association and the plant oils themselves have been proven in studies to have physiological effects.
Citrus oils, as well as those extracted from certain herbs, have been proven to aid concentration, to improve clarity and to enhance our mood. They also tend to have an invigorating and energising effect, and to stimulate positive emotions such as happiness and relaxation.
As well as boosting our moods, essential oils may also be able to keep people well.
"Essential oils have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and using them in an environment where there are a lot of people can help to keep germs at bay. A simple inhalation of an aroma can cause many changes in the body, which can include activating the immune system and helping digestion. Lavender, can help to chill out after tough meetings. Rosemary is the perfect Monday morning pick-me-up. In addition to improving memory retention, rosemary has stimulating properties that fight physical exhaustion, headaches and mental fatigue. Peppermint, invigorates the mind, so is a useful brainstorming tool, promotes concentration and stimulates clear thinking". Six Scents that can Transform your Mood and Productivity, Beverley Hawkins, West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy.
One famous blend of citrus and herb oils is the famous eau de cologne. Originally mixed by Johann Maria Farina in 1709, eau de colognes contains a mixture of citrus oils, (such as lemon, orange, bergamot, lime, grapefruit), herb oils (such as rosemary, thyme, oregano) and florals, (such as lavender, petitgrain, jasmine and oleaster).
Farina wrote to his brother "I have found a fragrance that reminds me of an Italian spring morning, of mountain daffodils and orange blossoms after the rain". He blended bergamot, neroli, lavender and rosemary oils diluted in grape spirit. "This perfume refreshes me" he wrote, "and stimulates both my senses and imagination."
My own take on eau de cologne is the Sugar Hill INSPIRE aroma blend which was developed to be invigorating, energising but also to help in positivity, concentration and relaxation. I was inspired originally by the Tour De France visiting our corner of Yorkshire and developed an energising blend which reminded me of a Mediterranean garden. A cheering blend of French lavender, bergamot, petitgrain, rosemary and my own twist, two types of English mint.
In these times right now, I couldn't say it better than Nathalie Vinciguerra (a natural perfumier with her own natural brand; Anima Vinci):
"In the current environment, which is so depressing, I think people need to have light, happy scents and Colognes are perfect for
giving you clarity and a lift.’ (Taken from "A Bigger Splash" Volume 16, Scented Letter, The Perfume Society. https://perfumesociety.org/subscribers/the-scented-letter/
RETREAT and INSPIRE aroma blends contain citrus and herbaceous notes