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How ‘fragrance zoning’ can boost your productivity – and your libido!

Whether you’re yearning for the sweet smell of work success, longing for a relaxing evening or in the mood for love, the new wellness trend fragrance zoning could be the answer.

With millions of Brits forced to work from home since lockdown over the past year, at some point we realised there must be a better aroma to soak in than sweaty home-schooled kids, wet dog and piles of laundry.

In fact, searches of scented candles increased by 187 per cent last year, along with reed diffusers by 1,017 per cent. While perfume sales dropped off, they’ve come out smelling of roses, with a 45 per cent increase in the first quarter of this year.

While these products might traditionally have been all about smelling good, they have the power to enhance every aspect of our lives if used to ‘fragrance zone’ – also known as scent-scaping.

Whether you’re yearning for the sweet smell of work success, longing for a relaxing evening or in the mood for love, the new wellness trend fragrance zoning could be the answer (stock image)

Neuroscientist Dr Julia Jones, author of Neuron: Smart Wellness Made Easy, told FEMAIL: ‘Our sense of smell greatly enriches our lives because of the additional information it gives us about our environment, and its powerful and fast-acting brain responses due to our internal wiring. 

‘I use aroma, scent and fragrance as a daily brain hack, just as I use sound, daylight, and touch. I build specific scent triggers into my regular routine. 

‘Building fragrances into your routines and embedding associated tasks, actions, modes, and mindsets can be a powerful tool that helps you build strong healthy habits.’ 

Dragon’s Den success story Drew Cockton, 34, launched vegan fragrance brand Owen Drew in 2016, which counts Kate Middleton and Paris Hilton among its fans. The business has been invested in by Touker Suleyman and has a turnover of £1million.

Drew told FEMAIL: ‘To achieve fragrance zoning, essentially different scents have to be used for different rooms which serve different purposes, creating the right emotions for each part of the day.

Dragon's Den success story Drew Cockton, 34, launched vegan fragrance brand Owen Drew in 2016, which counts Kate Middleton and Paris Hilton among its fans. The business has been invested in by Touker Suleyman and has a turnover of £1million

Dragon’s Den success story Drew Cockton, 34, launched vegan fragrance brand Owen Drew in 2016, which counts Kate Middleton and Paris Hilton among its fans. The business has been invested in by Touker Suleyman and has a turnover of £1million

‘It’s something we’ve been recommending for some time, and it’s become more important than ever for people to look after their wellbeing in the current climate.

‘Before starting my own business, I used aromatherapy and candles to relieve the stress I felt from my job in the corporate world. Used properly, scent can affect our emotions in a positive way. Sometimes it’s down to the particular essence of the fragrance or sometimes it’s because it triggers a memory which makes you feel a certain way.’

Here Drew Cockton shares his tips for how to nail fragrance zoning in your life.

WHY SCENT HAS SUCH A POWERFUL EFFECT ON OUR EMOTIONS 

‘The brain sits above our nasal passage,’ Dr Julia explains. ‘Sensory cells are located in the roof of our nasal passage and are stimulated by molecules of fragrances that enter our nose. Extensions of these sensory receptor cells project upwards to connect with a bundle of sensory neurons in a structure called the olfactory bulb.

‘Aromatic compounds have specific odour molecules that can be identified by these receptor cells and trigger electrochemical responses (known as action potentials). These impulses travel to the brain via the olfactory bulb and olfactory cortex.

‘The reason scent can have such significant effects on our emotions and memories is because the incoming olfactory information is then delivered directly to the limbic region of our brain. This strong connection with the amygdala means it influences the way we feel, and the connection with the hippocampus influences how and what we remember.

‘For example, I stopped using my pod coffee machine and switched to a filter coffee percolator because the aroma is much stronger in the morning. I purposely inhale the superb smell of the coffee I’ve made before my first sip. This triggers reward chemicals in my brain that help prime me for a good day. I use more expensive coffee beans for my first jug of coffee to specifically amplify this effect.

During the day if I have an important client meeting or presentation I use my most expensive fragrance as that makes me feel more confident. I have associated this scent with feelings of success.

During micro-breaks I try to take time out in the garden and inhale the smell of the roses during low and slow breathing. This can really help slow your brain activity down into alpha waves and give you a much needed reset before diving back indoors for the next Zoom meeting.

At night I use fragrance in a different way. I use scented candles, because their low light helps ensure that blue light from light bulbs does not interfere with my brain’s sleep circuits, and their scent helps me feel relaxed. I also use essential oils on my pillow that I’ve associated with the sleep playlists I listen to while getting ready for bed to help ensure good sleep quality.

FOR FOCUS AND MOTIVATION

Bergamot is great for motivation and like other citrus oils is renowned for aiding concentration and alertness. Our best-selling BLAISE Luxury Room Mist and candle / wax melt contain this scent, and customers report feeling more energised and productive using them in their home office environments.

Peppermint tea is also an inexpensive and effective way to start the day to feel motivated, and the scent will leave you feeling ready to take on anything (and without coffee breath!).

TO BOOST LIBIDO

The scent of rose is widely considered to be the most powerful aphrodisiac fragrance. 

The flower itself is synonymous with romance and love. Our signature eau de parfum is comprised of libido boosting scents including Bulgarian rose Otto, one of the most expensive flowers in the world.

Perfumes with roses, ylag ylag and patchouli boost feelings of attraction and arousal.

FOR HAPPINESS

Rose is a scent I and many others associate with happiness, but it is entirely personal. Feelings of happiness are often associated with memories, locked deep within your brain.  

Nivea has brought out a candle in the same scent as its sun-cream, the idea being that the scent transports your memory to summer holiday and makes you feel happy. 

Pretty much any inexpensive coconut product will have this effect. Even lighting a Christmas candle in the middle of summer will make you happy as the scent will remind you of the ‘most wonderful time of the year’.

TO EASE STRESS 

The scent of lemon is a well-known stress reliever and has been used as such for hundreds of years. 

Use lemon cleaning products around the home if feeling stressed or anxious to help combat these negative feelings.  

TO RELAX AND DRIFT OFF TO SLEEP

Lavender is best for helping relax and sleep and has been used by aromatherapists for hundreds of years.

It’s my favourite flower and my garden is packed with it. Choose a sleep mist which contains pure lavender essential oil and spritz it around the room, on bedding and pillows. 

Jasmine is also known for having sleep inducing properties and a calming effect on the brain. Jasmine is a great plant to grow in the garden, particularly if you are WFH as it is fragrant and the scent will waft towards you, keeping you relaxed.

Reserve these scents for the bathroom and bedroom in the evening so that your subconscious gets the message that it is ‘down time’. 

For more information visit www.owendrewcandles.com

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