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.’