Many studies have been conducted on the influence of semiochemicals (fragrances, pheromones, even body odor) on mood and behavior. Essentially, how, and why, do smells make us feel?
There is even an entire lab at Rutgers University dedicated to the study of such matters. One such study, conducted by Professor Jeannettte Haviland-Jones’ Human Emotions Lab, concluded that flowers and flower scents promote happiness. Other scents, according to Vanderbilt University’s Health Psychology department, can promote calm, relaxation, or even rejuvenation.
Any modern department store will have a selection of diffusers, essential oils, and scents, as will many bath and body, candle, and home décor stores. Choosing a signature scent for your apartment will individualize your space, infuse a sense of home, and just might spruce up your attitude, too.
To promote a relaxing environment, choose a musky scent such as sandalwood or citrusy bergamot. If you’d like your signature home scent to invigorate your space, choose a piney rosemary or cool, spicy peppermint aroma. The scent of lemon promotes high energy and positive mood as well.
To encourage alertness, diffuse the scent of eucalyptus. If you need to ease feelings of tension and anxiety, opt instead for a savory sage scent.
Flowers and gardening are certainly “good things” according to media empress Martha Stewart, who enjoys the intoxicating fragrances of freesia, rose, and gardenia.
If you enjoy perfumes or cut flowers, the sky is the limit in terms of scents for your home. If you wish to keep live plants, an apartment renter should choose a sturdy bulb plant such as freesia or tuberose rather than a voluminous, prickly rose bush. Lilies are hearty, fragrant bulb flowers too and they will grow well in a home or on a balcony garden.
The lily family is extensive, including a total of roughly 1,300 species. The selection of bulbs at your local home and garden store won’t be that extensive, but you should be able to find a bevy of ubiquitous varieties including white Easter Lilies, magenta speckled Stargazer Lilies, and orange Tiger Lilies.
If you choose to showcase cut lilies instead, snip and discard the anthers (the pollen-coated bits) from the centers of the lilies to avoid messy pollen dispersion. Garden gurus claim this little trick will extend the shelf life of your flowers, too.