Earlier this week, as I was rushing around doing the 101 things that a mum must do in her daily life, I caught a whiff of the hyacinths sitting in a teapot on my kitchen table top.
The scent blew me away and took me straight into spring, despite the grey damp clouds looming outside. I felt all happy and warm inside realising that we should never underestimate the power of smell.
For me, the smell of fresh flowers, a dusky diffuser or an aromatic candle is an immediate pick-me-up, and a much needed boost for any busy mumma.
Gone are the days when I would go out and buy a new dress, handbag or some chocolate for that quick-fix feel-good feeling. Now it’s all about the home, because yes, I admit it, I’ve “settled down”.
Despite the happiness these smells can bring, it’s not always easy to justify that Diptyque diffuser for £100 or the Jo Malone candle for £42 a pop. We perceive them as luxurious purchases because they are not “necessary” purchases.
Instead, they’re something we teach ourselves to resist alongside the new pair of shoes that are identical to that pair you wore last weekend but with a slightly different heel, or that new coat which is so on-trend, but actually, you already have a decent one that keeps you warm.
But with sensual scents on the side in your home it’s totally different. You get to enjoy them each and everyday, several times a day. It’s the last thing to embrace you as you walk out the front door and the first thing to welcome you at the end of a busy day.
The power of smell on the psychology of the human brain has been widely documented. Particularly the connotations and associations a smell has, and how it can transcend us straight back to another place. Like we all have that aftershave that reminds us of “that ex” and what about the rose scented soap that our dear grandma used to use? It takes you right back. That’s the power of smell.
Infact, I’ve written several cases for the Times Educational Supplement on students in schools who have the scent of orange wafting out during Maths lessons. And then again, during the exam to help them recall their nine times table. No joke – it’s a real thing.
So when we are next out shopping, trying to justify whether we can better spend our pennies, take a moment to think about the happiness it can bring. Those beautiful blooms on the market or the scented liners for your drawers have the power to send your serotonin (happy) levels through the roof. So don’t think twice; buy them, arrange them, smell them. You’re worth it and you deserve it.
Here are my top five favourite scents around the home:
1. Fresh Hyacinths in any colour, from anywhere and in any room
2. Jo Malone candle – Peony and Blush Suede
3. White Company Candle – Blanc
4. Laura Ashley Diffuser – Beach Comber
5. Cheap and Cheerful – Lily Flame’s oh-so-sweet Fairy Dust candle – this one is my hubby’s least favourite but the little girl in me just loves it