The Psychological Benefits of Wearing Perfume When You Have Nowhere to Go
We tend to forget how powerful our sense of smell can be. And not just physiologically. Scent has the ability to unlock memories of people, places, and times. Maybe it's a smell you associate with childhood summers, or a fragrance that reminds you of a beloved relative—it's a power that should not be overlooked.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to exact its toll on our daily lives, experts are offering a mood-boosting suggestion. Even if you have nowhere to go and nobody to see, you might find comfort in spritzing on your favorite perfume. (Hey, these are desperate times, y'all!)
"Our research has shown that perfume enhances a person's mood," Stephen Watkins, a fragrance application scientist for Givaudan, the world's largest flavor and fragrance company, told Refinery29. "By choosing to wear a fragrance, people are tapping into a way to enhance their well-being and self-esteem."
We know, it sounds a bit like magical thinking, but there's a science-backed explanation behind it.
"Smells through the olfactory system have strong ties to the memory and fear centered of the brain (its why we love that new baby smell or can pick up smoke or gas smells as a warning super quickly)," psychotherapist Daryl Appleton, MD, told Popsugar. "Our signature scent is more than just something we like; it can be tied into our confidence and linked to our ability to self-soothe by reminding us of times when we felt powerful."
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The past few months have been trying on all of us, so if filling your house with a smell you associate with your wedding day or a family vacation puts a smile on your face, we say go for it!
"Comfort and security can come externally from things like support or therapy, but it also comes internally, from understanding what we need," Appleton continued. "Understanding what helps to calm and soothe, or make us feel strong and powerful, is unique and important." It's different for everyone but looking to the five senses can help you reach an inner feeling of tranquility, happiness, or even confidence."