Has a smell ever sent you on an emotional roller coaster? You walk past someone with strong cologne or smell lavender from an essential oil diffuser, and suddenly you’re remembering an old friend, a beautiful spring day, or even a bad breakup. Scents can trigger powerful emotional reactions—including joy, love, fear, and anxiety. And there’s a (relatively) straightforward explanation as to why.
Science writer Yasemin Saplakoglu explains: “A scent is a chemical particle that floats in through the nose and into the brain’s olfactory bulbs, where the sensation is first processed into a form that’s readable by the brain.”
“Brain cells then carry that information to a tiny area of the brain called the amygdala, where emotions are processed,” she adds. “And then to the adjoining hippocampus, where learning and memory formation take place.”
So we know that scents can send us on a field trip through our subconscious, but can they also help us curb negative feelings and emotions?
Can Essential Oils Help With Anxiety?
Due to the way the brain processes them, scents, such as essential oils from a diffuser, may help us cope with everyday stressors. Some studies, like this one conducted on hemodialysis patients in an Iranian hospital in 2016, suggest that surrounding yourself with certain scents can help with anxiety relief.
For this particular study, researchers divided patients into two groups. One group inhaled rose water for four weeks, the other did not. The group that inhaled the rose water experienced a decline in anxiety levels.
The concept that essential oils can help with the healing of the body and the mind is the basis of aromatherapy. The term was first coined by French perfumer and chemist René -Marice Gattefossé in 1937, but the idea has been around for thousands of years. According to Quinessence, some of the earliest records of aromatherapy are from China, and they date back to 2697 BC.
Now, thousands of years later, aromatherapy is still popular around the world. But in true 2020 fashion, now you can experience relaxing scents in your home via a WiFi-operated Aera Fragrance Player.
Aera: The Essential Oil Diffuser Made for the Modern Era
Just like everything else in our tech-driven lives, we can now program healing essential oils to disperse with the tap of our phones or Alexa voice command. Meet: Aera, a line of essential oil diffusers made for the modern era. The brand’s Fragrance Player disperses ultra-tiny micro droplets into the air, using only trace amounts of essential oils. This means that, unlike many traditional air fresheners, none of its scents are overpowering.
Designed by “master perfumers,” Aera’s scents (all of which are cruelty-free and vegan) feature a mix of sustainable, ethically-sourced healing essential oils and human-made synthetic fragrance molecules. Using these molecules helps to ensure all of its scents are hypoallergenic for your comfort (and your pets and children’s comfort), and it also helps the environment too.
“Man-made fragrance molecules are less likely to trigger allergic reactions or cause irritation due to their simplified molecular structure. They are also, by nature, completely sustainable,” explains the brand’s website. “For example, natural musk requires a lethal extraction process from a musk deer, while natural sandalwood harvesting has nearly driven the tree to extinction.”
Its fragrance partner Firmenich is an industry leader, renowned for its quality standards in terms of sustainability and ethical sourcing.
“Not all beautiful scents in the world can be sourced from organic material. In fact, the botanical/natural palate is very limited compared to one which includes the thousands of man-made molecules available,” Aera continues. “Using both gives our perfumers the ultimate palate to work with when developing our unique fragrances.”
Aera has five different collections on offer, with multiple scents in each. You can buy these in packs or individually; then you simply plug them into your Fragrance Player to disperse them throughout the room.
With two scents (Lavender and Bergamot and Linen and Lemon), Home Hygiene is the smallest of Aera’s collections. Ideal for homes with pets, the scents in this range feature natural antibacterial botanicals, odor-eliminating fragrance molecules, and “wellness-boosting” essential oils.
There’s also the Simplicity line, complete with 10 different scents. This collection is perfect for when you just want something fresh, light, and subtle to lift the room. Want to transport yourself back to those sunny days by the sea? Try Beach House, or if you’re embracing the chillier fall months, try cozy Log Fire.
With four scents available, the Anti-Odor collection will banish bad smells from the kitchen or bathroom, as well as lingering damp or smoke. There’s also Luxe, a collection of seven “evocative designer fragrances,” and finally, Aromatherapy.
A Scent to Help You Re-Center
For those looking for stress-relief, the Aromatherapy line offers four options geared towards relaxation. One of the scents in this collection is literally called De-Stress Mind, and Aera recommends you play this “at that point in the day when you typically begin to feel overwhelmed and need to re-center in the present.”
Soothing De-Stress Mind contains frankincense, which research suggests can activate ion channels in the brain, potentially helping to alleviate anxiety. It also contains chamomile and petitgrain. The former is renowned for its relaxation properties (ever wound down at night time with a chamomile tea?) and the latter is thought to calm panic, slow heart rate, and boost emotional strength. According to Aromatherapy For Life, it has a sedative effect on the nervous system.
You can increase the intensity of any Aera scent if you want to; you simply adjust the settings between 1 and 10, depending on how much you want to disperse. Each scent can keep playing for a maximum of 800 hours. In general, one Aera can fill up a room with an open floor plan and an average ceiling height of 12 feet between 500 to 1,000 sq. ft.
If you’re interested in purchasing one of Aera’s Fragrance Players or you simply want to find out more about the brand, see here.
This is a sponsored post.