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Can an Uplifting Oil Change the World?

Posted on: October 28th, 2010

Can an uplifting citrus smell help make a change for the better in our world?

Yes, according to Research conducted by the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Illinois. Using a citrus scented spray, US researchers have discovered participants are dramatically more ethical and charitable in their behaviour towards others.

The smell of a clean and fresh room is sufficient to provoke a subconscious impulse towards fairness. Psychologist and professor, Adam Galinsky who worked on the study claimed, “basically our study shows that morality and cleanliness can go hand in hand”. Participants in the study carried out tasks in either regular or freshly lemon-scented rooms. The first experiments evaluated fairness, the second whether clean scents would encourage charitable behaviour. In the clean scented rooms participants were more than 100%, less likely to exploit the trust of their experiment partners, and indicated they were more interested in volunteering and donating funds to a charitable cause.

“This is a very simple and unobtrusive way to promote ethical behaviour … Our research suggests that getting our kids to clean up their rooms might help them clean up their acts too…” said Katie Linguist (Assistant Professor at Brigham Young University, Marriott School of Management. Is this what is meant by the phrase “Cleanliness is next to Godliness?”

Over the last fifteen years that I’ve worked with essential oils I’ve often commented that the right blend of essential oils is the best “chemical warfare” that we can use. Imagine if a blend of lemon, lemongrass, lavender, bergamot and geranium were used as room deodorisers and body moisturisers so that everywhere you went you inhaled these wonderfully uplifting and positive scents.

Every time we met and greeted anyone we’d be more open, less aggressive and anxious. Perhaps we’d even volunteer more of our time for family and community. And because these essential oils are more stimulating than most we’d have the energy to do so.