By Faye M Smith
Walk into the lobby of a fancy hotel and you will immediately be overwhelmed by an indulgent fragrance and stunning blooms. This sensory experience, which has been used for decades, is a trick to make you feel welcomed and pampered.
Known as ‘scentscaping’, the right fragrance has an effect on our energy, endurance, emotions and memory. And now researchers confirm that as smell is connected to all receptors throughout the body, the right scent combined with the right visual stimulation can speed up recovery after illness, improve digestion and help you breathe calmly and deeply.
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‘Nature has a positive qi energy,’ says life coach and feng shui consultant Alexandra Lees. ‘Being in contact with nature by arranging flowers, tending to plants and enjoying their changing form, colour and texture will have a positive effect on our energy and health.’
This means that when you pick up your blooms, consider the colour of the leaves and petals. ‘The colour of a flower or plant can have an equally stimulating or calming effect on your own energy,’ says Alexandra.
Another way to use the power of scent is via aromatherapy - consider adding one of the best diffusers for essential oils in rooms where you want to harness the benefits. They're generally easier to maintain than houseplants!
Ready to try for yourself? First you need to understand the which accents are energising and which are calming - then read our tips for scentscaping at home.
The leaves contain a stimulating and uplifting scent, plus go for bold and vibrant red or pink flowers for an extra energetic uplift.
The fresh smell of eucalyptus creates an uplifting and invigorating atmosphere.
A peppery oral scent, particularly with bright pink, orange and yellow flowers, is great for awakening senses.
Its herby scent and muted lilac, purple and green colours have soothing and calming properties.
The musky, pungent scent and delicate appearance of its white flowers calm the senses.
A heady oral scent coupled with flowers (either as cut stems or small indoor rose plants) in so creams and pinks are great for creating a calm and serene atmosphere in any room.
Scentscaping at home
‘Scent can often infuse a whole room, so you don’t necessarily need to see or be near the flower or plant to benefit from it,’ says Alexandra. But to heighten your sensory experience, try the following:
- Position any flowers or plants where they are more visible or closer to where you sit.
- Spend five minutes sitting quietly, focusing your attention on the flowers or plant and mindfully enjoying their scent, colours and form.
- When flowers start to decay, dispose of them with love and gratitude. ‘The energy of the plant or flower will no longer be beneficial,’ explains Alexandra. ‘This is why the use of dried (or artificial) flowers is also discouraged in feng shui.’
Currently Wellbeing Editor across several women's titles including Woman&Home, Woman and Woman's Own, Faye has worked in the magazine industry for over 15 years. She has previously interviewed celebrities for the Fit&Well brand. Having previously been the go-to sex columnist for Now magazine, there isn't much she won't discuss when it comes to women's health - which is important, as Faye's a firm believer that feeling good on the outside starts from within.
Faye’s fitness routine is more focussed on finding inner balance rather than burning excess calories – think mindfulness, power breathing, yoga and plenty of walking in nearby woodlands rather than a sweaty HIIT class. Having been vegetarian for almost two decades, Faye’s also passionate about eating well. She currently swears by her daily mix of probiotics, vitamin D and B12 to help boost energy instead of sugary treats.
Out of the office, Faye loves to binge-watch Netflix documentaries, plan cruise holidays and talk incessantly to anyone who will listen about how much cats rule. And you'd be surprised how long that can last!
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