Have you ever associated a scent with a person or a particular place where whenever you smell it, it takes you back to that memory? That’s called smell association where a few scents trigger some kind of a memory.
I’m sure we all must have experienced something similar. But now it turns out that smell can not only take you back to a memory but choosing a scent when you work from home can actually increase your focus and productivity.
The first question we need to ask ourselves is what our workspace or workday smells like. Does it smell of coffee, does it smell citrusy or does it smell like a stack of paper that’s just been printed? Olivia Jezler, a fragrance expert says, “Even at extremely low levels, it’s (scent) affecting you”.
Scent has the power to help us focus or destress, it can improve cognition by interacting with our brain chemistry.
There are certain compounds in aromas of essential oils like rosemary and sage which can potentially improve memory by being absorbed into the blood when we inhale the scent and pass it onto the brain. The brain is where the activity of a neurotransmitter (brain cell messenger) is enhanced.
Smells are known to stimulate the limbic system (an area of our brain), which affects our levels of arousal. It helps us relax or perk up according to the particular scent. According to research, lavender can improve in relaxation while chamomile and lemon balm are also good options for winding down.
So once you surround yourself with these scents and have a relaxing wind down, when you get back to work, your mind would be in a relatively better position. It would be charged up and all ready for work.
Similarly, it is also important to choose a work scent. This can be a scent that you associate with, when you work. It can be a candle that you light at your workstation or a diffuser in your study. But by assigning a work scent, your brain will automatically get a signal that would allow for you to work better.