Scents that make us feel happy (World Mental Health Day)

This year, events around the world have tested us to remain upbeat and positive. As we find ourselves combatting a pandemic and coming to terms with the state of our planet, many are turning to the comfort of families and friends as well as finding the little things that make us happy.

Our sense of smell has a powerful effect on us. It can influence the way we think, our health, and even trigger good or bad memories. This is because the olfactory bulb has a direct connection to the parts of the brain that process emotion and learning.

Aromatherapy has been proven time and time again to possess many benefits in improving physical and mental performance, whether that is boosting the immune system, energy levels or simply helping to promote calm, relaxing vibes.

So, as World Mental Health Day 2020 arrives on October 10th, we are here to look at the top 7 scents that make us feel happy.


To kickstart our list of scents that make us feel happy, we look to the seasons. Autumn is considered to be a warm, cosy time of year for most. Cinnamon is one quintessential spice seen everywhere in apple pies, pumpkin spice, and coffee.

Its scent is said to bring soothing sensations to the body and help with fatigue and improve concentration – a welcoming, pleasant aroma for everyone.


Ever heard of ‘forest bathing’? Inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, studies have demonstrated a wide array of health benefits, especially in the cardiovascular and immune systems, and for stabilizing and improving mood and cognition.

For years, humans have taken advantage of the healing power of nature and a simple walk through a pine forest will not only uplift your spirits, but its scent is guaranteed to get you in the festive mood.


Vibrant, zesty, and fresh – citrus fruits have always been popular aromas for fragrances and cleaning products with associations of cleanliness and femininity.

Lemon in particular carries anti-bacterial and stimulating properties to ease symptoms of a sore throat or cold, (just a squeeze of lemon in a cup of hot water or tea will do the trick) as well as alleviating any anxious feelings thanks to vitamin C and high potassium contents.


The iconic scent of lavender cannot be forgotten. According to a study from the University of Miami School of Medicine, those who smelt lavender felt a ‘significant transient effect’, making people feel more relaxed and able to perform computations faster than usual.

It’s also good for treating migraines, melancholy and insomnia – keeping you balanced and harmonious when used during meditation.

Fresh grass                     

Nothing beats the scent of freshly cut grass on a crisp autumn day. Similar to citrus, this aroma makes us feel both refreshed and happy as it releases a number of organic compounds called green leaf volatiles (GLVs) – emitting the ‘green odour’ we’ve all come to know.

Fun fact: the smell is said to be greatly beneficial in terms of preventing memory loss as you age.


Extracts of this herbaceous ingredient in a more diluted form can be used to add flavour to foods or these can be taken as dietary supplements.

In terms of promoting a positive mindset, peppermint invigorates and energises those who need a quick boost. It is also shown to be valuable for athletes who smell it by improving respiratory rate and performance according to a study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition .


Finally, one of the many scents that make us feel happy is vanilla. Its aromatic presence is a natural aphrodisiac that fights off depression, sensually excites, relaxes any tensions and makes us crave something sweet to taste. Neurological studies have revealed that the positive effects of vanilla are due to vanillin, which is the primary component in vanilla.

From body care and household products to candles to create calm when the nights draw in, scents can support us mentally each and every day.

In recognition of World Mental Health Day, Zanos are proud to source and distribute the aroma ingredients that can help bring a smile to your face.

We offer a wide range of natural essential oils and aroma ingredients for many applications. Contact us today by calling on 01565 755899 to speak to our Sales Specialists and we will be happy to help.

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