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Get Scentered

So it's no secret that I'm all about health and well-being these days. I post about it pretty much everyday on my social media platforms! (If you don't follow your missing out! Links are at the bottom of this post, look forward to seeing you there…) With this in mind, I've been looking into simple and easy ways to increase my own well-being, my families and yours.. (my veteran family ♥️).

Anyway I came across something called Aromachology, I'll be honest at first I thought 'what's this shit?" is Tom Cruise heading this up cos if so I'm out! However upon further investigation I found out that Aromachology was actually the scientific study of human behaviour in relation to scents.

It was established in the 80's and focuses primarily on the psychological effect that scents can have on our mood and emotions, both positive and negative.

Aromachology is being used today to create something called "functional fragrances" i.e. fragrances that have been scientifically proven via research and studies to have a particular effect, obviously a positive effect! To be honest although this is news to me in some respects, which I find very fascinating, it also isn't news to me…

I mean, how often have you found yourself stopping to stand outside a bakery to take in the smell of freshly baked bread? Why? Cos is smells amazing and makes you feel happy, content, smile even! It brings comfort.

Remember the phrase "bullshit baffles brains" from basic training?

If not, the way I always remember it and explain it is this…

Before a room inspection, like just before u have to stand by your door, I would ALWAYS spray a ridiculous amount of furniture polish on the door frame… A tip passed down to me my Dad (legend)… theory being that if it smells clean as they walk in, they won't look as hard when inspecting the room. Let's think about it, if your room smells like shit then likelihood is your beds getting flipped! AKA bullshit baffles brains!

This theory is also utilised in selling homes, with research showing that someone is more likely to buy a property if it filled with the delicious and comforting smell of freshly baked cookies and freshly brewed coffee… it's also utilised more and more by the beauty industry, cleaning industry, and even hotel industries.

Smells are also strongly associated with the activation of memories, there is copious amounts of evidence, research and studies to support this concept. I mean when I smell the perfume J'adore I immediately think of my mother, as that's all she wears (obviously cos it costs a frigging fortune!). Furthermore, if I smell whiskey I always think of my Nana Holly, who was Irish and true to stereotype… she bloody loved a drop of whiskey! Although I can't stand to drink whiskey myself, the smell of it always brings back fond memories of my Nana. She would put it in her brew and think no one would know, this still makes me laugh... the old bugger!

A scientist named Shizuo Torii at Toho University is the father of aromachology and his research and studies have found that certain scents, whether synthetic or natural, can affect our mood and behaviour in many differing ways… from relaxation and wellbeing to sexual arousal!

So you know if your wanting a bit of 'how's your father' with the partner... then get those scented wax melts and candles lit in every corner of the house! Kills 2 birds with 1 stone too, as it looks romantic, but is also scientifically proven (maybe has a little bit of wizardry thrown in there and all…) to 'get you in the mood'. The V Word Tip of the day there! Thank me later.

Not all scents are good though!

A fellow veteran with a vajayjay made a joke to me other day… she said she associated the smell of fear, with boot polish, brasso and stale alcohol. This made me laugh because it's partly true!

Also for those that have been to Afghanistan if I say the words "poo pond" you will also know I mean when I say not all scents are good!

For those haven't been, Poo Pond is exactly as described, its a massive pond of shit (sewerage). The smell from it is so potent that it wafts across the whole camp in Kandahar. Just the thought of that smell makes me wanna be a bit sick in my own mouth! #Rank

All jokes aside, unfortunately a smell can also evoke negative emotions, triggering an individual to think of an unwanted memory, particularly for those suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). So the utilisation of scents in the home is something that should genuinely be considered.

I cant imagine one would go into a store and asked for a product that smells like sewerage, might get a few strange looks there like! However, any smell can trigger an emotion and each individual has there own demons and their own triggers… therefore please do make sure that you do your research before filling your home with a scent.

So why are smells so significant?

Smell is said to influence our behaviours because the sense of smell is directly linked to the area of the brain that regulates emotions.

Here's a sciency bit:

"Scents are processed in the olfactory bulb, which has direct connections to the amygdala and hippocampus. These are the parts of the brain that provide emotional reactions and memories"

The sense of smell is not something to be underestimated, it is one of the most powerful senses we have!

Research shows that there is a 40% improvement in mood after being exposed to pleasant scents

So if you haven't already worked it out yet the reason I'm writing about this is because the science proves that scents can improve our overall well-being and mental outlook. I'm by no means suggesting that they are a cure for mental illness but, they are definitely something that's pretty simple that we can use for ourselves to aid in our recovery… i.e give us an uplift at home.

I use them ALL the time, my go to products are wax melts and an essential oil diffuser. I love them!

In fact my husband would say I have a bit of a problem… as I have a ridiculous amount of wax melts, wax burners and essential oils…

(Sssh secret bit here, on the world wide web lol)

I have a deal with my postman Dean, he knows the assignment, to put any parcels I buy from The Scented Barn "somewhere safe"! You know minimise the grief I may get 'why do you need more?' 'Have you not got enough?' 'FFS Ria' (I'm putting on a whiney voice in my head as I type this!). No Nick, I'm sorry #notsorry but I will NEVER have enough!! #safeguardingmentalhealth lol

I digress as per bloody usual!

So how can you do it?

Simple… there are loads of different products out there… wax melts, reed diffusers, essential oil diffusers, home mists, scented candles,… I could go on.

You just need to do your research and decide what effect your after and the relevant scent to get it.

Choose your weapons of choice, some way to disperse the smell and the smell itself…

Here are some scents I like and their effects as a starter for 10 to help you get SCENTered!!

(per scientific findings in Aromachology from various articles).


  1. Reduction in stress and anxiety

  2. Memory recall

  3. Increases Productivity

  4. Supports Brain Function

  5. Sleep Aid


  1. Decrease nervous tension

  2. Increase feelings of well-being

  3. Reduction in depression and anxiety

  4. Mood Lifting

  5. Sleep Aid


  1. Reduction in stress and anxiety

  2. Mood regulator by triggering the release of dopamine and serotonin in the brain


  1. Supports Brain Function

  2. Boosts cognitive performance

  3. Reduction in stress and anxiety


  1. Calming

  2. Reduction in stress and anxiety


  1. Reduction in mental fatigue

  2. Reduction in stress and anxiety

  3. Mood Lifting

  4. Calming

****If you like this blog and guide, why not share it with someone on social media, welcome more people into The V Word tribe!*****

PS. Be sure to join me on Instagram @the_v_word_vwv for more hints and tips on military transition, veterans with vajayjays, mental health, and well-being!


This blog and The V Words social media posts are NOT therapy. I am not a trained a therapist, I am just a veteran going through her own mental health and military transition journey, sharing what I have found worked for me.

Therefore all the information shared should be looked at as more of a guide and peer support, definitely not an intervention.

Mental health is a relative concept and is therefore unique to each person, the tools and insights shared will resonate differently for everyone depending on their situation… my hope is that even if the tools shared are not for you, I'm raising enough awareness to at least get you to think about how you can take care and safeguard your own mental health.

Much Love Ria ♥️

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, you can find support and resources on the mental health charity Mind's website or see the NHS' list of mental health helplines and organisations here.

Websites used in this post:

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