Nightly exposure to scents including lavender can more than double word recall, a new study suggests. Researchers at the University of California examined whether smelling a range of aromas could improve the cognitive abilities of older adults. Researchers recruited 43 healthy people aged between 60 and 85 with good cognition and exposed 20 of them to essential oils each night for six months using a nebulising diffuser for two hours. Scents varied for each day of the week: rose, orange. Eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, rosemary – and lavender. They found that, compared with the 23 who formed the control group, those subjected to so called olfactory enrichment displayed a 226% improvement in a word recall test.

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