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How our homes smell is vital to creating a homespace that exudes good feelings, or what I call “warm fuzzies”. This is important for you and all that dwell in your homespace. It is also important for those that enter your home to get these same “warm fuzzies” from the smell of your home.
The Science of SmellThe olfactory nerves in the nose send information about the smell (scent) to the primary cortex of the brain. The cortex is linked to the amygdala and the hippocampus of the limbic system. The amygdala processes emotion. The hippocampus is responsible for associative learning. So, your brain forges a link between smell and memory. When you first smell a new scent, you connect it to something such as a person, place or thing like an event. Thus, the perception of smell consists of not only the sensation of the odors themselves but also of the experiences and emotions associated with these sensations.
Feel Good Memories of head> SmellThink back to your childhood. Do you have certain smells that bring back memories of childhood or days gone by? Here’s an example. My grandmother had holly bushes that grew outside her home. I loved my grandmother dearly and looked forward to visiting her every summer. Every visit began with the smell of those holly bushes as they were at the steps to her front door. To this day whenever I smell hollies, I smile in memory of my dear grandmother head>, Nana. Always.
[caption id="attachment_203" align="alignnone" width="288" caption="Photo credit: Susan Muehl"][/caption] Take the Smell TestHere is how you can test your homespace. Leave your home for a while, preferably several hours. Upon re-entering your home, stand in the foyer or entryway of your home with your eyes closed. Head> breathe in. Do you smell anything? Does it smell good, bad, or indifferent? Continue this test in other areas of your home. Obviously, you hope for good test results. If you have something that smells distasteful, you know what to do- find it and remove it! Do this test regularly. If you are comfortable with asking a close friend to take the smell test in your home for you, do that as well. Just make sure to ask them to do it with their eyes closed- it makes all the difference. Just be prepared for their response, as you might be surprised!
Creating wondrous smells in your homespaceSmell can bring a flood of memories, influence people’s moods, and even affect productivity. This is why you want your homespace to have a pleasing smell. If your homespace can use some help in the good smell department, there [head>] are numerous ways to achieve this. Here are a few:
- Open your windows regularly to let out stale odors.
- Clean more often.
- Remove trash and animal litter regularly.
- Bring fragrant flowers indoors and place them all over the house.
- Make bundles of dried lavender to use in your home.
- Keep herbs such as fresh rosemary in your kitchen/home.
- Use candles (safely of course) that are earth friendly. I love having one lit in my kitchen at all times as even the flicker is soothing to the atmosphere.
- Use diffusers with 100% essential oils.
- Use odor eliminators (again, earth friendly). My all time favorite is Fresh Wave.