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Can perfume minimize menopausal mood swings?


Menopausal mood swings may be inevitable as women age. But could the answer to curbing them really be as simple as a spritz of perfume?
Menopausal mood swings may be inevitable as women age. But could the answer to curbing them really be as simple as a spritz of perfume?
Graham Monro/gm photographics/Getty Images

Have you found yourself to be overly irritable and emotional lately? Well, if you're in your 40s and 50s, your mood swings may be the result of a hormone shift linked to menopause. Don't worry, you're not going through menopause just yet; mood swings can start years before menopause begins. Think of it as pre-menopausalsyndrome. Mood swings are a natural part of every woman's life. And it's not just during menopause; mood swings can start as early as puberty. If there were a way to cure this annoying symptom of womanhood, wouldn't you give it a try? I mean, let's be honest, mood swings don't only affect the woman experiencing them -- they can affect everyone around her. Could the answer to mood swings really be as simple as a spritz of perfume?

Many believe the use of smell to change mood, known as aromatherapy, is the answer to menopausal mood swings. The use of aromatherapy can be traced back to ancient times. In fact, the need for smell to be linked to our emotions dates back to our very existence. Even the animal kingdom relies strongly on the linkage of smell and emotions. Before you can even identify a smell, your brain has already linked it to a memory or feeling from the last time you smelled it. That's why the smell of an air bag detonating or a gas leak can cause your body to go into a fight or flight panic. Likewise, smells like vanilla and lavender can have a calming affect on your mood. These healing fragrances are most affective when found in essential oils, but they are often found in perfumes as well.

One study of the effects of fragrance on emotions found fragrance positively impacts stress, depression and irritation, while enhancing happiness, relaxation and sensuality. To someone going through menopause, this study might sound like wearing perfume is a foolproof cure for your menopause symptoms. However, just because fragrance can have a positive affect your mood, doesn't mean it will prevent menopausal mood swings. Given the research, it's worth a try for correcting your mood, yet simply spritzing on a calming perfume every morning has not been proven to completely prevent mood changes.


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