Scent Science and Cinnamon Rolls

Scent Science and Cinnamon Rolls Activity

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See more activities in: Third Grade, Life Science

Our sense of smell is the only one of our senses that sends information directly to the brain. Of the twelve nerve endings that enter the brain, only the olfactory (sense of smell) passes stimuli directly to the brain unfiltered. Smells possess some powerful properties! Researchers have found that certain odors increase the ability to learn, create, and think. Other aromas are thought to boost attention and learning. Peppermint, basil, lemon, cinnamon, and rosemary are linked to mental alertness. Lavender, chamomile, orange, and rose promote relaxation and calming. Who knew that odors and education would go so well together!

Aromas are amazing! Check out the chart below, which shows some common conditions and the aromas that may help improve them.


effective herb*

low energy

Basil, cinnamon, clove, garlic, geranium, hyssop, marjoram, nutmeg, pine


Basil, chamomile, eucalyptus, jasmine, marjoram,

neroli, rose, thyme, ylang-ylang


Borneo camphor, chamomile, jasmine, lavender, nutmeg, thyme, verbena


Chamomile, cypress, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, melissa, nutmeg, rose, vanilla, verbena


(general tonic)

Chamomile, cinnamon, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, neroli, nutmeg, orange, rose, sage, sandalwood, verbena


Basil, chamomile, cinnamon, clove, cypress, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, marjoram, neroli, orange, rose, sage, savory, sandalwood, thyme, vanilla

*Check for allergies to herbs and spices.

Here are some ideas for using aromas to build brain power:

Design cooking activities to release aromas that increase alertness. For example, cinnamon rolls, peppermint candies, and lemonade have aromas that encourage mental alertness.

Updated on Jun 27, 2013
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