Shinrin-yoku and the science of Japanese forest bathing

There’s no better time to get out and start smelling the flowers to improve your wellbeing with this February set to be the most fragrant in living memory. Although we all ‘know’ smelling flowers makes you feel good, there is now more science that explains how fragrance affects our brain. In the 1980s the Japanese government carried out extensive scientific research which found that a two-hour forest-bathing (inhaling the aromas in the forest) could reduce blood pressure, lower cortisol levels and improve concentration and memory. Their findings went beyond the usual correlations between fresh air, exercise and wellbeing. They found that the chemicals released by trees, known as phytoncides, could have an anti-microbial effect on our bodies, boosting the immune system. As a result of this research, forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, was introduced as a national health programme.

Floral scents will be stronger than ever this February thanks to the mild winter.
— Royal Horticultural Society
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This fits perfectly with my creation of Desavery which harnesses the power of inhaling plants ingredients to positively impact a user’s biochemistry. Our Stellar Daily Serum has bergamot which is shown to lower cortisol levels. I absolutely love this aroma which is the same ingredient used to flavour Earl Grey Tea. Clary Sage was traditionally used to treat depression and now we know that after inhaling clary sage, chemicals in our brain are impacted giving us a mood boost and calming our parasympathetic nervous system. To complete the mood, we’ve included frankincense oil which has been used for centuries to elevate, cleanse and promote focus and calm. It’s just how I want to start my day. All of our ingredients come from wonderful suppliers from around the world and the skincare benefit of our main ingredient, prickly pear seed oil is truly nourishing, protective, hydrating and healthy.