The Psychology Of Fragrance: How Scents Can Impact Our Mood And Memory

The Psychology Of Fragrance: How Scents Can Impact Our Mood And Memory

Do you know the psychology of scent and how fragrance and emotions correlate together? Here’s your quick guide to understanding the relationship between fragrance and emotions to help you choose the right scent for you! 

6 Indoor Yoga Poses for Monsoon Reading The Psychology Of Fragrance: How Scents Can Impact Our Mood And Memory 8 minutes Next 4 Must-Have Luxurious Fragrances for Women That Last All Day!

Our sense of smell is one of the most important senses when talking about memory and triggers. Familiar scents can take us years and trigger remote memories. Moreover, scents can also affect our mood significantly, making us feel things. So it becomes crucial to understand the psychology of scent and the scents and mood correlation to choose the right fragrance for you. We will also talk about the relationship between fragrance and emotions. 

Fragrance & Mood

The psychology of scent affects not only our memory but also our mood. Fragrance and emotions play a significant role as you might have observed in day-to-day life. Here are a few examples of scents and mood correlations: 

  • Emotional Triggers:

    Fragrances can serve as powerful emotional triggers. Our sense of smell is closely linked to the brain's limbic system, which is responsible for emotions and memories. Certain scents can instantly transport us back to specific moments or places, evoking associated emotions.
  • Aromatherapy and Mood Enhancement:

    Aromatherapy is the practice of using fragrances, typically from essential oils, to enhance well-being and influence mood. Different scents are believed to have specific effects on emotions.

  • Neurological Effects:

    Fragrances can have direct effects on the brain and nervous system. When we inhale a scent, the odour molecules stimulate the olfactory receptors in our nose, which send signals to the olfactory bulb in the brain.
  • Mood Regulation and Stress Relief:

    Certain scents have been found to have mood-regulating and stress-relieving effects.

  • Personal Preferences and Individual Responses:

    Fragrance preferences and their impact on mood can vary greatly from person to person. Our responses to scents are influenced by various factors, including personal experiences, cultural influences, and individual sensitivities.

It is important to understand that what may evoke positive emotions in one person might have a different effect on someone else. For instance, a particular scent that brings happiness to one individual may evoke different emotions or memories in another. The fragrance psychology: Understanding the influence on mood and memory, is unique to everyone. Let’s now talk about how fragrances can trigger particular memories.

Fragrance & Memory

Continuing on Scents and emotions: Exploring the psychology behind the fragrance, let’s now discuss the effects of fragrance on memory!

  • Olfactory System and Memory:

    Our olfactory system, responsible for our sense of smell, has a unique connection to the brain's limbic system that is closely associated with memory formation and emotional processing. When we encounter a scent, our memories are triggered and associated with that particular scent.

  • Powerful Associations:

    Fragrances are capable of forming strong associations with specific memories and experiences. When we encounter a particular scent during a significant event or period in our lives, the brain forms a connection between the scent and the emotional context of that moment. 
  • Nostalgia and Emotional Response:

    Scents have the ability to evoke intense feelings of nostalgia. Certain fragrances can transport us back in time, allowing us to relive moments from our past. This emotional response is often tied to personal experiences, cultural influences, and individual preferences. 

  • Therapeutic Applications:

    The relationship between fragrance and memory has therapeutic implications. Fragrances can be used in aromatherapy and reminiscence therapy to stimulate positive memories, improve mood, and enhance overall well-being. 

Now that we are more familiar with the psychology of scent and scents and mood correlation, let’s now understand how fragrances in different settings can affect our mood! 

Fragrance In Different Settings

When talking about Enhancing mood and memory with fragrances: The psychological connection, it’s important to understand how fragrance in different settings can affect our mood. 

  1. Home Environment:

    Fragrances such as lavender can promote relaxation in the bedroom, while citrus scents like lemon can help create freshness and energy in common areas.

  2. Work Environment:

    Peppermint or rosemary fragrances are known to stimulate mental alertness, while soothing scents such as eucalyptus reduce stress and help create a calming atmosphere.

  3. Retail and Commercial Spaces:

    Pleasant fragrances such as vanilla or baked goods create a welcoming atmosphere, potentially helping to influence customer behaviour and encouraging purchases.
  4. Spa and Wellness Centers:

    Fragrances such as lavender or ylang-ylang are known to promote relaxation, calm our nerves, reduce stress, and also enhance the overall spa experience.

  5. Public Spaces:

    Fragrances in public spaces shape our experience. Pleasant scents can create a positive atmosphere, while unpleasant odours are sure to have the opposite effect.

Choose The Right Fragrance For Your Mood

As we now know about the scents and mood correlation we know choosing the right fragrance can have a powerful impact on our mood. When choosing the right fragrance in your body mists, perfumes, candles, etc., remember these points.

  1. Energised and Uplifted:

    If you want to feel energised and uplifted, you should opt for fragrances with citrus notes such as lemon, orange, or grapefruit. These scents are known for their refreshing, uplifting, and invigorating qualities, which in turn help in promoting a sense of vitality and positivity.

  2. Calm and Relaxed:

    To enjoy a calming and relaxing atmosphere, you can choose fragrances with notes such as lavender, chamomile, or jasmine. These floral scents can promote a sense of serenity and also help reduce stress and anxiety, to promote a peaceful state of mind.

  3. Confident and Empowered:

    If you're looking to boost your confidence and feel empowered, you can go for fragrances with warm and spicy notes such as sandalwood, patchouli, or cinnamon. These scents can promote the feeling of strength and assertiveness, simultaneously enhancing your self-assurance.

  4. Romantic and Sensual:

    For a romantic and sensual ambience, you should consider fragrances with notes of rose, vanilla, or ylang-ylang. These floral and sweet scents are generally associated with the feeling of passion and can help create an intimate atmosphere.

  5. Fresh and Revitalised:

    If you desire a fresh and revitalising experience, you should choose fragrances with green or aquatic notes like mint, cucumber, or oceanic accords. These scents can help establish a feeling of freshness and rejuvenation, in turn, revitalising your mood.

Take a look at Pure Sense Serene Cool Vibes Body Spray with Aqua fragrance to feel fresh like an ocean breeze. All body sprays and fragrances from Pure Sense are made from vegetable-origin alcohol to avoid any skin irritation.


We hope now you know everything you need to know to help you choose the right fragrance for you! You can experiment with different fragrances on different days depending on your mood and the occasion! 


  • How do scents impact our moods and emotions?

    Fragrances have a direct impact on our mood and emotions through the limbic system, which is closely connected to the sense of smell. When we inhale a scent, it triggers the olfactory receptors, which send signals to the brain's emotional centres, such as the amygdala and hippocampus. This connection can evoke positive emotions like joy, relaxation, or energy, depending on the scent and individual associations.
  • Why do certain scents trigger memories?

    Scents have a strong ability to trigger memories due to the close proximity of the olfactory bulb (which processes scent) to the brain's memory centres. When we encounter a specific scent during a significant event or period in our lives, the brain forms a powerful association between the scent and the emotional context of that moment. This association enables the scent to serve as a potent cue for memory recall, often evoking vivid and emotional memories.
  • Can fragrances be used to improve cognitive performance?

    Yes, certain fragrances have been found to enhance cognitive performance. For example, scents like rosemary and peppermint have been shown to improve memory, concentration, and alertness. The inhalation of these fragrances can stimulate brain activity and increase blood flow, leading to enhanced cognitive functioning. However, the effectiveness may vary among individuals, and it's important to note that the impact of fragrances on cognition is temporary and context-dependent.