Designing with scent

28 January, 2019 12:20 pm

The intimate relationship between scent and emotion has been studied by scientists around the world for decades. Research has shown that the olfactory cortex is one of the most powerful parts of the brain when it comes to processing stimulation. This area is located right next to the hippocampus, which stores long-term memories, and explains why specific scents can make us nostalgic.

Connecting to positive memories

This close connection between smell and emotional wellbeing means that it’s a key consideration when designing all kinds of spaces. A thoughtful interior designer may ask their client to describe their favourite scents and will then make a note of any fragrances that hold a special place in their childhood memories.

For instance, if a client fondly recalls the smell of a particular type of rose that their mother used to grow, the designer can incorporate this element into their design. As a result, each time the client enters that particular space, they will be welcomed by that positive emotional association and the room will become a relaxing haven.

Paying attention to the effects of scents

It’s important to note that all fragrances can produce different effects. A good interior designer will bear this in mind when incorporating scent into an interior design plan. If a client has a connection with the smell of peppermint or rosemary, which are known to be invigorating and energy boosting, then it would be best to incorporate these into a kitchen or gym.

On the other hand, if sleep-inducing and calming lavender is the scent of choice, a bedroom or cosy sitting room would be the ideal location. Other fragrances are more flexible with their implementation, such as citrus notes that help to relieve anxiety and create a more positive mindset.

Bringing harmony to a room

To create a synergy with a space, an interior designer can pair scents with the textures, shapes, and overall design. This can help to bring together and harmonise all elements of the room. In fact, scent can actually increase the effectiveness of a specific space and improve its utility. This can be useful at home but is also advantageous in a commercial setting.

For example, stress relieving scents, such as orange or lemon, can be incorporated into a yoga room. Similarly, mint can be infused in working offices to improve alertness. It has been proven that retailers who pair scents with their products receive greater sales, illustrating that scent can play a crucial role in business success.

Versatile scenting options

Scent can be adopted as part of an interior design plan in a wide variety of ways. Candles can offer subtle fragrancing or a stronger effect depending on their size, and incense can provide an immediate burst of a chosen smell. Water vapour diffusers that use essential oils are ideal for alternating several scents in a single space, as well as creating a balanced aroma. There are also traditional options, such as diffusers and potpourri, which add a nice visual element too.

At Rachel Laxer Interiors, we take everything into account when designing a home or commercial space. We believe that designing with scent is a key element in creating a holistic environment that supports wellness. Contact us today for more information about our interior design services and to see how we can help you.