To most people, a smell isn’t just a fragrance, it’s a feeling. You may associate spicy cinnamon and pine scents with the cheery feeling of Christmas. Or you may get a whiff of beachy sands and find yourself swept away to utter bliss. If you’ve ever used a scented natural wax melt before, you may not know it, but you’re actually experiencing the benefits of aromatherapy. Known for its mood enhancing powers, aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of naturally extracted aromatic essences to promote psychological well-being. Upon being heated, wax melts release fragrance molecules from the essential oils that stimulate endorphins and other “feel-good” chemicals in our brains. When melted, scents released from wax melts trigger neurotransmitters—such as serotonin—in the brain via the olfactory system that contribute to mood-boosting effects. Aside from aromatherapy, certain wax melt scents may do amazing things for our minds and bodies. Here are 10 wax melt scents that you may use as aromatherapy!
#1. Lemon Wax Melts - Memory
Who doesn’t love the zingy, fresh, and clean smell of lemon wax melts? Lemon is a timeless, versatile scent found in everything from food flavoring to cleaning supplies. But did you know that the scent of lemon may also boost your ability to focus and even enhance your memory? A recent study done by Takasago found that those who work with computers made 54% fewer typing errors when the workplace was scented with lemon! This is partly because the “smell” receptors in our noses communicate with parts of our brain that serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. Since we associate certain memories and emotions with certain smells, these memories may be “triggered” through the smell, resulting in faster recall time.
#2. Evergreen Wax Melts - Stress
We can all relate to that holiday cheer Christmas trees bring around the holidays! But there’s more than one reason these pines are are bringing us joy. In one study done by Japan’s Kyoto University, 498 healthy volunteers were sent on two 15-minute forest strolls once a day. Researchers found that participants who went on a walk through pine forests reported lower depression and stress levels! While most of us don’t have access to pine forests year-round, we may be able to mimic the same emotional effects by melting pine or evergreen wax melts from the convenience of our own homes.
#3. Citrus Wax Melts - Anxiety
Citrus wax melts can encompass a range of orange, grapefruit, and mandarin smells! But did you know most citrus-scented wax melts contain some element of bergamot? Bergamot yields a distinctive citrus fragrance with slight floral and spicy notes. Because of this composition, many wax melt companies will incorporate bergamot essential oils into their citrus wax melts to give them that poignant fruity smell. Several clinical studies have shown promising results with using bergamot essential oils to reduce anxiety and overall stress reduction. Bergamot contains linalool, a powerful volatile compound found in several aromatic plant species. Inhalation of linalool may decrease anxiety, aggression, and aid in building positive social interaction! One blogger even writes that she melts grapefruit wax melts at work when stress and tension rise. To relieve anxiety and reduce emotional stress, place a ring finger-sized amount of citrus-scented wax melts in your wax melt warmer and use twice a day for 20-minute increments. Cortisol levels tend to peak around 5:00 pm, so we recommend anticipating the spike and melting 30 to 60 minutes before.
#4. Vanilla Wax Melts - Joy
There’s a reason why vanilla is the most popular candle scent in the world. Some scents may be associated with increased happiness. Vanilla wax melts bring a warm, sweet, comforting, and familiar smell that is sure to soothe the soul! In a recent study published by the International Symposium on Olfaction and Taste (ISOT) researchers found that taking a whiff of vanilla bean elevated participants’ feelings of joy and relaxation.
#5. Depression - Lavender Wax Melts
Lavender wax melts are considered to have a more subtle, familiar floral scent. Depression is one of the greatest health concerns, and the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 10.3 million U.S. adults suffer from depressive episodes annually. Depression may result in changes in appetite, sleep patterns, energy, poor concentration, and fatigue. With rising medical costs coupled with unwanted side effects, more people have been looking for alternative healthcare. This has led to a rise in popularity of aromatherapy, as recent research has found supporting evidence that certain essential oils may be a safe, effective way of combating depressive symptoms. Recent clinical studies point to antidepressive effects of lavender. Their results found that using products with lavender essential oils for aromatherapy 3 minutes a day resulted in superior and quicker improvement of depression symptoms.
#6. Concentration - Spearmint Wax Melts
Spearmint wax melts deliver a zingy, robust menthol aroma that may clear sinuses. But did you know that this compelling power packer may also aid concentration? Research performed by the Neuroscience Department at the University of Northumbria found a distinct difference when comparing the outcomes of using ylang-ylang and spearmint essential oils for aromatherapy. Their research found that peppermint & spearmint aromatherapy enhanced the memory of test subjects, while ylang-ylang impaired the memory of test subjects. So next time you want to reach for that cup of Colombian as an afternoon pick-me-up, skip the crash and indulge in melting spearmint wax melts instead!
#7. Migraines - Apple Wax Melts
A clinical trial published by The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation discovered that the smell of apples had a positive effect on reducing the severity of migraines. They found that the smell of apples may reduce the migraine’s brain-thumping symptoms. Inhalation may be the most direct way to ease a migraine, since the chemical messengers in the nasal cavity have direct access to the brain. We recommend finding an apple wax melt with a full-bodied, orchard or Macintosh scent to enhance your aromatherapy experience.
#8. Attention Span - Cinnamon Wax Melts
Cinnamon wax melt scents yield a hint of clove and spicy warmth, making them a bold seasonal fragrance. This sweet-smelling spice may also sharpen your mind! Research performed by Wheeling Jesuit University found that inhaling cinnamon scents improved participants’ scores on tasks related to attention processes, virtual recognition memory, and motor skill response times. Known for their festive sparkling fragrance, many people also burn cinnamon wax melts year-round for their aromatherapy benefits.
#9. Insomnia - Jasmine Wax Melts
Known as the most exotic and complex scent, there’s an expression in the perfume industry, “No perfume without jasmine.” Known for its exquisite tropical, sensual, and heavenly floral notes, jasmine wax melts may also be used to combat aromatherapy. The Telegraph even reported on a study that found jasmine is as good as valium at calming the nerves!