Did you know that smells can evoke memories, foster a

sense of relaxation and well being, and even enhance sensory experiences? Numerous behavioral studies in recent years have demonstrated that smells can trigger vivid emotional memories, and are more effective at inducing a clearer memories of a previous incident than images. This partially explains the popularity of scented candles and soaps like those sold at Meli Lips in Glendale.

But the scent of candles and oils can do more than inspire memories or change moods. In Japan psychologists performed an interesting experiment. They discovered that when lemon oil was diffused throughout an office building, productivity among data entry operators increased by an astounding 54%! So, what aromas are best? 

Let’s start with lemon. In light of the Japanese study it might not comes as a surprise to learn that this scent has been shown to promote concentration, especially during the period of mid afternoon slump. So, if you are feeling a bit foggy, consider this scent.

There is evidence to support the historic belief that lavender scents alleviate emotional stress. This makes soaps and candles with lavender are ideal if relaxation is the goal. The scent of vanilla has an interesting affect. Several international studies that the aroma of vanilla stimulates a response similar to that derived from eating sweets and deserts. Imagine being able to curb that craving by simply lighting a candle!

The rose has long been associated with romance in plays, in movies, in poetry, and in books. As it turns out, there is good reason as some studies indicate that the smell of a rose can boost the libido, and increase self-esteem and confidence. There may also be antidepressant properties. Jasmine is another mood enhancer that has natural anti-depressant properties. Other aromas that foster similar feelings include chamomile, bergamont, and sandalwood. 

Not all candles, however, are created equal. When shopping for candles, the scent alone is not the only thing that needs to be evaluated. Some scented candles can cause indoor air pollution that is actually hazardous to your health. A South Carolina University study conducted in 2009 determined that artificially scented candles, and those with paraffin wax and lead wicks releases toxins that have been proven to cause allergies, headaches, and in extreme cases, even contribute to the development of cancer. Incredibly, some of the toxins found in scented candles are also those found in diesel fuels, lacquer, nail polish remover, and even paint!

This is another reason to shop Meli Lips. Our candles are soy based and we also offer essential oils. And remember, when shopping for candles, you will want to ask if the wax is paraffin free, if the scents are derived from natural products natural, and if the wick is made of cotton or paper. Candles made of beeswax, soy, and and natural vegetable waxes.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America.