There’s something almost magical that happens when you light a candle; all it takes is the scent of a single candle to make the room feel more festive or bring back memories of your childhood home. Scents play a role in both Psychology and Aromatherapy. Psychology says that our sense of smell is the most fundamental and cryptic sense of all six senses—yet, few people pay attention to the vast significance of our sense of smell. Here’s a fun fact for you: once you smell something (i.e., a fragrance) it takes a mere millisecond to affect your state of mind. Furthermore, fragrances can arouse your state of mind both negatively and positively. Believe it or not, the human nose has approximately 400 scent detectors, these detectors work with your subconscious mind to detect at least 1 trillion different odors. It’s the effect of the scent on the subconscious that has the power to affect our state of mind (and even our behaviors). This is where aromatherapy comes into play.
The Real Benefits of Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy, an alternative medicine that’s been around for thousands of years, is used around the world to treat a variety of conditions—typically through the use of essential oils. Essential oils are optimal for aromatherapy due to the potent fragrance they give off since they are extracted directly from a source (essential oils and their potency is really a whole new topic for another time). That being said, the underlying idea of aromatherapy is that a scent reaches the olfactory system (all the sensors in the nose that we talked about earlier) and affects the brain or body in some way. So, while essential oils offer the purest scent, there are other ways to get the benefits (e.g., candles, perfumes, etc.).
Below are six aromatherapy benefits; the first three sync up with psychological scent-based studies. The remaining three delve into the physical benefits of aromatherapy.
- Stress relief: arguably the most common use for aromatherapy is for stress relief. The fragrances of many popular essential oils contain aromatic compounds known as relaxants. Relaxants have a very soothing effect on the mind which ultimately leaves you feeling less stressed and anxious. Fragrances that have been found to have this stress-relieving effect include lavender, bergamot, peppermint, and ylang-ylang. Further studies have suggested that the cirrus-y scent of lemon can also improve one’s mood and even lessen the feeling of anger
- Memory booster: fragrance works with your memory in two ways. First is a fragrance’s connection to a past event—in other words, our subconscious has stores all kind of information about events that happen to us every day. When we experience a significant event (positive or negative) our brain holds on the details, almost connecting the dots between an event, your mood, and a scent. Do you ever smell chocolate chip cookies and think of baking cookies with your parents as a child? This is exactly why!
Additionally, aromatherapy has been found to enhance memory. Not only is this helpful for students who need to study, but there is some research that’s found aromatherapy to actually slow down the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The most common scent recommended for a memory boost is sage.
- Sleep regulation: it’s no secret that irregular sleep can lead to a multitude of problems—of course the most common problem is that drained, sluggish feeling, the one that you can only shake with sugar, caffeine, or sleep. So, if you’re someone who has trouble falling asleep, or even staying asleep, aromatherapy may be worth a try. Studies have shown that by introducing essential oils (or other forms of scent) to the environment at the appropriate time—near bedtime, that is—we can rebalance our sleep schedules, and even realign our circadian rhythms. Ultimately, we can retrain our bodies to fall asleep at the end of the day, stay asleep throughout the night, and wakeup feeling refreshed. A few fragrances that are recommended for sleep regulation include lavender, sandalwood, rose, chamomile, and jasmine.
- Pain relief: although over the counter painkillers typically do as they promise (kill pain, that is), they often come with nasty side effects; for some these side effects are immediate, while others tend of occur after taking the medication time and time again. Aromatherapy, on the other hand, had been found to relieve pain without sans any unwanted side effects! I would highly suggest looking further into the specific uses and suggested practice to get the most effective pain relief. Scents that are typically implemented to reduce and relieve pain include lavender, eucalyptus, clary sage, and peppermint.
- Energy booster: in addition to helping us wind down and relax before bed time, aromatherapy can also boost energy by help us feel awake and alert throughout the day. It’s important to note that the use of fragrance to reenergize will work best when maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise routine. Unlike many other stimulating substances, aromatherapy is non-addictive. The following scents have been found to increase circulation, energize the body, and arouse the mind: black pepper, cinnamon, clove, rosemary, and sage.
- Immune system strengthener: if you are someone who takes vitamins every day to keep your immune system in check, you should consider adding aromatherapy into your regime. When administered properly, essential oils (essential oils would be the best choice of fragrance in this instance) have been found to have anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial effects, which in turn, can help strengthen the immune system. Essential oil fragrances that help build up the body’s immunity include oregano, frankincense, lemon, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
If you know me, you know I am obsessed with alternative medicines—that’s right, I’m the girl who will prescribe you a specific yoga pose, pressure point, and essential oil to use at any given time. So, I’m sure you can imagine my delight when I found out that Resveralife (a company whose products are inspired by our senses of sight, touch, smell, taste and sound) was sending me Bubbly Champagne Candle in exchange for my honest review.
From the moment I saw the packaging of the candle I was impressed! The outer box is a beautiful blue and black paisley pattern. Embossed in with gold coloring on the box was the simple Resveralife logo and name of the candle on the front, and instructions of how to light the candle on the back. First of all, the fact that this box was stamped with detail rather than being simply printed, tells me right of the bat that this candle is going to be a winner. Secondly, who knew that there were actual instructions for a candle?! I mean sure, it seems pretty obvious, but I appreciated it. Reading the instructions on the back of the box was almost like getting the gentle reminder to be careful because you’re about to use something that is, quite frankly, flammable.
From the moment that I opened the box I could smell the candle—and yes, I totally smelt the champagne. I was thrilled when I saw that the candle jar was printed with the same pattern as the box (it’s so pretty that once the candle is finished I’m going to put it on my desk and use it to collect little knick-knacks). The fragrance that the candle gave off when it was lit was just as good as the initial sent of the unlit wax.
While the idea of champagne might remind you of a celebration, after being lit for about 44 minutes this fragrance had me observing an overall sense of calmness. To my surprise, the box itself didn’t list the notes in the candle; while I knew that I was superficially smelling champagne, I wanted to know what specific notes were in this candle that were making me feel so relaxed. Question in mind I got onto the Resveralife website to find out more. According to the product page for the Bubbly Champagne Candle, the fragrance is composed with notes of Lavender, Hyacinth, Violet, Jasmine, and Orchid. Whelp, that explained my state of relaxation.
Fragrance Notes in Resveralife’s Bubbly Champagne Scented Candle
For those of you who are still new to aromatherapy and still learning about scents, below I’ve put together a list of the candle’s notes with a few details on each.
- Lavender: seeing as lavender is a flower it offers a very floral fragrance. When “consumed” as a fragrance, lavender has been found to relieve stress and anxiety, ultimately promoting relaxation. Additionally, the scent of this purple flower promotes sleep and healthy. Lastly, lavender provides support to the immune system and nervous system.
- Hyacinth: another purple flowering plant with a very similar look to lavender, is the yummy scent that makes many shampoo and conditioner products smell flower-y. Although there are no known aromatherapy benefits of hyacinth, I think that I’ve subconsciously associated the scent with that fresh after-shower feeling.
- Violet: this purple flower is very commonly used in women’s perfume and body lotions. It offers a very soft and smooth, yet rich fragrance. Many people find that the scent of violet can alleviate stress and lower even anxiety levels. Additionally, violet can be used eliminate feelings of fatigue and dizziness.
- Jasmine: interestingly, jasmine is part of the olive-family. This shrub offers a sweet, and almost exotic floral fragrance. When used in aromatherapy jasmine remedies stress and anxiety. There are some who believe that it can aid in the treatment of depression (albeit there has not been any substantial or regulated research regarding the affect that jasmine has on clinically depressed individuals).
- Orchid: there are currently 28,000 species of orchid flowers—with such a wide range in species comes a variety of fragrances. I’m assuming that the orchid scent in this candle is referring to the common orchid that you might find at your local florist. Although these flowers don’t have a strong scent, they do offer a sweet vanilla-like fragrance. Orchid is often used as a mood booster and stress reliever. Additionally, orchid is said to have anti-microbial properties which makes it a great immune booster.
While I never would’ve guessed that the four flowers and shrub listed above could be mixed together to smell like champagne, the creative team over at Resveralife made it happen. This candle could be lit to enhance a variety of occasions; it would make a beautiful addition to date night, movie night, or even girl’s night. Plus, when the candle is gone you’re left with an incredibly cute jar!