BY ADAEZE IBEKWEH

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Imagine you walk into a home that is well decorated, nothing too glamorous; tiled floor; everything is neat and well put. There is art on the wall, a nice couch that blends in perfectly and nothing is out of place. Now picture walking into the same home with the fresh cool mint air of peppermint fragrance enveloping the home. Heaven right?

Having guests walk into your home, office, or place of business saying “this place smells nice” is one of the best compliments anyone can get. Unlike the decor of a home that is immediately visible to guests, how a home smells is subtle and most times overlooked but when a space smells great, it shows that the owner has class and pays attention to details.

Beyond this obvious benefit, smells have been known to stimulate different kinds of emotions in people. Certain smells are mood lifters, others take you down memory lane; invoking a feeling of nostalgia or comfort, while others fill you with a rush of excitement. This link between smell and emotions is not strange according to Harvard University’s Venkatesh Murthy who says smell and memory are so closely linked because of the brain’s anatomy.

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What most people do not know however is that fragrances help improve health and wellbeing. Some studies have found that changing the ambient smell of a space can help reduce the physiological signs of stress. For instance, the smell of citrus (or apple) has been known to reduce anticipatory stress in patients waiting for dental surgery.

In homes, there are many health benefits fragrances provide and some of the key ones have been highlighted here.

Serve as a natural defence against germs: Some fragrances help protect the body against germs. A good example of such a fragrance is tea tree oil which has been proven to be effective against infectious agents. The tea tree oil when diffused in a home is effective against viruses, bacteria, and fungi, therefore, making the homeless prone to germs.

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Improve the wellbeing of the skin: the skin is the largest cell organ in the body and is always in contact with the environment. The wellbeing of a person’s skin is determined to a large extent by their environment. Certain home fragrances contain rose essential oil; an oil with a sensual and aromatic scent. Rose essential oil is used in cosmetics to treat dry skin and redness. It also improves the skin glow of people living in homes where such fragrance is used.

Relieves stress and lowers blood pressure: Lavender with its calming and soothing fragrance is the perfect mood booster. Studies have shown that the smell of lavender can lower blood pressure. Experts have also found that a drop of lavender essential oil massaged on a person’s scalp can help to relieve headaches.

Aid for digestive problems: The peppermint home fragrance is fresh and sharp. It has both a warming and cooling feeling that is comparable to menthol and helps to quell nausea, indigestion, and bloating. The peppermint essential oil when used in a steam diffuser is effective in reducing nasal congestion.

Helps to improve sleep: many home fragrances have a soothing effect that makes them naturally sleep-inducing. The effect of good sleep can not be overstated, as it can improve a person’s general health. A nice, sleep-inducing fragrance in the bedroom is a better and healthier way to cure sleeplessness for people suffering from insomnia as such fragrances do not have the long-term adverse effects associated with using anti-insomnia drugs.

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Dr Adaeze Ibekweh is an entrepreneur and founder of La Dolce Dea; a growing business that focuses on home fragrances.



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