Lilly Hortis, Staff Writer

Have you ever walked into a room with a distinct smell and had an unexplainable mood change?  Have you ever smelled a distinct smell and remembered a specific memory? If you answered yes to either of these,  it is because scents are able to affect your brain.

According to, “The sense of smell is closely linked with memory, probably more than any of our other four senses.”

According to Lisa Evans, a writer for, “Smell is the strongest of the senses and is best able to influence brain activity.”

Whether triggering memories, changing moods, or changing emotions, the sense of scent is known to affect your brain more than any of our other four senses.

One of the biggest way scents are used today is essential oils. According to Merriam-Webster, essential oils are “any of a class volatile oil that gives plants their characteristic odors and are used especially in perfumes and flavorings, and for aromatherapy.”

Most people essential oils by either dropping a few drops on themselves or by putting the oils in a diffuser which spreads the smell throughout the room. The use of these helps people to work better, sleep better, concentrate better, or even change their whole mood.

Another common use of scents is candles. While not used as commonly, candles work in a very similar way to essential oils. A burning candle puts out scents the same way an essential oil diffuser would.

The scents that derive from both essential oils and candles affect your brain. This can cause you to think, act and feel differently:

Peppermint: increases activity in the brain

Jasmine: serves as a sleep aid

Lavender: leads to a decreased heart rate

Vanilla: can almost instantly put one at ease

Lemon: promotes concentration

Rosemary: fights physical exhaustion, mental fatigue and headaches

Cinnamon: improves concentration and focus

Next time you are tired and can’t concentrate, use some common sense and find the scent of rosemary or peppermint. Maybe even the scent of jasmine if you are going to sleep. You’ll be amazed by how scents can positively impact your life.