These Scents Improve Memory and Deter Dementia : Research says


8/23/20232 min read

These Scents Improve Memory and Deter Dementia : Research says
These Scents Improve Memory and Deter Dementia : Research says


Our olfactory senses have long been associated with memory triggers, and emerging research suggests that specific scents may have cognitive benefits. A recent study conducted by the UCI Center for the Neurobiology of Learning & Memory has found that drifting off to sleep while smelling certain natural oils could potentially boost memory. These findings could pave the way for non-invasive methods to strengthen memory and potentially deter dementia.

The Study and Findings:

Published by the University of California, Irvine, this study involved 46 individuals between the ages of 60 and 85 who had no memory issues. The participants were divided into two groups, with one group exposed to "full-strength" cartridges of essential oils such as lavender, rose, orange, eucalyptus, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary, while the control group received the oils in smaller amounts.

For six months, participants in both groups were instructed to keep these fragrances in their bedrooms for two hours every night, using a diffuser. The control group received limited exposure, while the other group experienced a more concentrated scent.

Neuroscientists conducting the study discovered a remarkable 226% increase in cognitive capacity among those exposed to the full-strength cartridges, as compared to the control group. These findings suggest a definitive link between smell and memory, holding promise for memory enhancement and dementia prevention.

Potential Implications:

The study's authors believe that these findings represent a significant step towards establishing a non-invasive method for memory strengthening and the potential deterrence of dementia. By utilizing specific scents during sleep, individuals may be able to tap into the benefits of olfactory stimulation without dedicating additional waking hours.

Researchers posit that the ability to experience these scents while sleeping eliminates the need for participants to actively set aside time for aroma exposure during their waking hours. This convenience factor makes it more feasible for individuals to incorporate the use of fragrance as a memory-boosting and potentially dementia-deterrent tool.


While these initial findings are certainly promising, it is crucial to acknowledge the limitations of this study. The sample size was relatively small, and further research is necessary to confirm and expand upon these results. Subsequent studies should include a more diverse group of participants, account for various factors such as age and underlying medical conditions, and explore the long-term effects of scent exposure on memory and cognitive function.


This groundbreaking research suggests a clear link between certain scents and memory enhancement, potentially paving the way for innovative approaches to memory strengthening and dementia prevention. While further research is required, these findings offer hope for non-invasive and convenient methods to boost cognitive function during sleep. Exploring the potential of scent-based interventions could lead to significant advancements in memory enhancement and dementia management in the future.