Unable to travel right now ? Travel the world using fragrance. Right now, Coronavirus-related restrictions are making international travel difficult. Many natural-born explorers are finding themselves in the unusual position of spending what used to be their travel time at home. And so, I’m thinking creatively these days and know there are still ways to escape and enjoy our home at the same time. Fragranced products are perfect for sensory escapism. Pick the right scent, close your eyes, and transport yourself to faraway places.
The right combination of fragrances can take you to the Mediterranean, the Middle East — practically anywhere! You just need to seek the natural scents that perfume the air in your chosen destination. They might be floral or other botanicals, or culinary ingredients, or the freshest air you’ve ever enjoyed.
Travel the World Using Fragrance: The Science Behind Scent
Have you ever wondered why the faintest whiff of a scent is enough to suddenly bring back a very strong memory? Perhaps a smell that takes you back to your childhood home or happy times. This is because smells can bring strong emotions linked to memory.
The Strong Link Between Smell, Memory and Emotion?
Neuroscientists have the answer tot he question as to why there is such a strong link between smell, memory and emotion. The mystery lies in the brain anatomy. The olfactory bulb processes smells. This is a structure in front of the brain and is a kind of “handling center” that sends information elsewhere in the brain for further processing.
Odor is passed directly to the limbic system. This is a set of structures in the brain that take care of memory and emotion. Hence, the almost immediate sensation of being psychologically transported by a scent.
How to Travel Using Scent Alone
You can use the science of scent to your advantage. It is easy to conjure up memories of far-flung places or even explore never-visited destinations by manipulating your brain through fragrance.
Scents will not just remind you of a place, they’ll give you a feeling, too. Travel can be exciting and exhilarating. Picking the right scent can lift your mood right up in the same way. But travel can also be calming and relaxing. Scent can achieve this, too. The key is to find a scent that matches a destination and the mood you want to evoke.
Five Ideas for Destinations
With a little thought and some dedicated research, it is very easy to make your own round-the-world itinerary. Here are some ideas to get you started.
If you’ve ever been lucky enough to travel to India, you’ll know that it’s an incredibly rich sensory experience. This means there are many directions you could take as you explore the scents of India.
There are the fragrances of the multiple spices used in Indian cuisine. For fragrancing your home or body, you could look out for black peppercorn or ginger which are both very energizing and uplifting. Or you could opt for warmer scents of cinnamon and cardamom, much like the comforting scent of masala chai, for a cozy evening with a scented candle.
India’s floral displays are bold and colorful, as are the scents that accompany them. Patchouli, geranium and marigold are bright, cheerful flowers with scents to match. They’ll transport you straight to an Indian wedding or festival and are great for a feel-good mood.
Jasmine is a subtler floral scent popular in Indian culture. It grows in abundance in Northern India. Both pretty and delicate, the flowers are often used as decorative hair accessories. The scent is charming and mood-calming. Jasmine is a very popular perfume ingredient in the West; it’s an ingredient in around three-quarters of fine fragrances.
Greece’s incredible history, beautiful islands and delicious cuisine are just three of the many reasons why you’d want to travel to Greece. To evoke this magical country, look out for fragrances that contain herbs like rosemary, peppermint and basil; woody scents like eucalyptus and wild cypress, or florals like gardenia and magnolia.
Lemon is often used in Greek cooking. It’s a great fragrance to use in your home to freshen and uplift. For this reason, it’s a popular cleaning agents ingredient.
Italy is another incredible evocative place. Exploring the cobbled streets of pretty Italian towns, you’d be met by the scent of coffee from espresso bars, or later the heady scent of red wine and beautiful dishes flavored (and scented) with Italian herbs. Out in the Italian countryside, olive groves and vineyards are in abundance. People grow herbs like rosemary in the gardens, which flourish in the warm sunshine.
To conjure up the feel of Italy at home, the beautiful woody scent of rosemary is an ideal choice. It has a slightly citrus note, which lifts it slightly. It is a popular ingredient for home fragrance products. You could even try growing (and cooking with it) yourself.
Are you dreaming of golden beaches and crystal clear waters? Take yourself to the Caribbean with fragrance. The sweet smells of pineapple and coconut or the sharper fragrances of citrus fruits are totally tropical. You’ll find all these scents in many bath and shower products. Add them to your money routine for a feel-good start to the day.
Spicier fragrances are also reminiscent of the Caribbean. Nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger are beautiful smells with which to fragrance your home; they’ll bring almost the same sense of luxury and indulgence as a week on a Caribbean island would.
Morocco is a popular travel destination. Marrakesh, Casablanca and Fez are amongst the country’s most visited spots.
In Morocco, you would be savoring both the taste and smell of peppermint tea. Mint is a wonderfully uplifting and refreshing scent.
Also look for amber perfumes. Amber resin is burned for fragrance in Morocco and elsewhere, and is incredibly evocative and indulgent. Home and personal fragrances are created to evoke the same warmth and sweetness. Think of it as a mix of spices, honey and vanilla.
There are so many ways to bring fragrance into your life. Here are some ideas:
- Perfumes, aftershaves and eau de toilette
- Other personal grooming products like bath and shower gels, or body lotions and moisturizers
- Scented candles, oil burners, or incense sticks
- Home cleaning products
- Air fresheners and room sprays
When you can’t travel, give yourself the gift to travel the world using fragrance. Look out for the scents that bring back magical memories or conjure dreams of your next destination in one or more of these products. Bring your destinations to life in your home by indulging in delicious fragrances and whisk yourself away in the world of your imagination.