If you’ve been reading my posts, you are probably aware of how I’ve discussed ad nauseam that the sense of smell has an incredible impact on our physiology. Furthermore, odors, especially essential oils, have a profound effect on our brain.

I reviewed this in detail in my two-part Townsend Letter article.

Furthermore, I wrote another two-part series on the impact of essential oils on the emotional brain.

In a recent video, our perky essential oils pharmacist, Lindsey Elmore, takes a different twist. She explains the impact of smell on human behavior and resulting physiology effects by reading to us her favorite neuroanatomy textbook. She also discusses the anatomy of olfaction and its connection to the brain. You can watch this 12-minute video here.

I believe essential oils can impact even those who can’t smell. I wrote about that here.  Below is a more user-friendly read that summarizes all the “science speak”above. It is excerpted from the first few paragraphs of “How Olfaction and Essential Oils Impact Health & New Findings on the Power of Odors Outside the Nose”:

The Many Physiological and Health Implications of Smell

Olfaction is a diverse and intricate part of our human functioning. The sense of smell has been shown to modulate appetite and food preferences, play a role in detection of danger, impact social relationships, and exhibit profound effects on our emotions, memory, and physiological responses.

I recently completed a research review on the neuroanatomy of olfaction, linking it to many of these powerful modulatory activities. The interconnections and pathways are complex. I will save you the major details in this blog and get to the point, but don’t worry, I will give you a link to the journal when it is released. Basically, the main area of the brain that links olfaction and emotion is the amygdala. This group of nuclei in the brain are also involved in pain processing and the stress response. This means that with one sniff, mood, discomfort, and nerves can all be effected simultaneously!

Furthermore, exposure to smells have been documented to ignite vivid associative memories that is based on the experiences of the sniffer. These remembrances can then create biological responses, including effects on our breathing patterns and heart rate.


A good way to take advantage of BOTH the positive aspects of smell and all the health-promoting properties of essential oils (more on this here), you can choose your favorite essential oil by its scent and inhale. This will multiply well-being and positive physiology!

Hope you enjoyed this quick essential oils-science blast!

You can find more information on essential oils here.




This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic quality essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been tested for purity and standardized constituents. There is no quality control in the United States, and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only to contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin.

This material is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness. You should check with your doctor regarding implementing any new strategies into your wellness regime. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.