Why mowing the lawn relieves stress and boosts your memory
Now scientists say they have developed a perfume which 'smells like a freshly-cut lawn' which relieves stress and help boost memory.
After seven years of research, Australian scientists say 'eau de mow' works directly on the brain, in particular the emotional and memory parts.
'Three days in Yosemite National Park felt like a three-month holiday,' he said. 'I didn't realise at the time that it was the actual combination of feel-good chemicals released by the pine trees, the lush vegetation and the cut grass that made me feel so relaxed.
'Years later my neighbour commented on the wonderful smell of cut grass after I had mowed the lawn and it all started to click into place.' Dr Lavidis said the aroma worked on the emotional and memory parts of the brain known as the amygdala and the hippocampus.
'These two areas are responsible for the flight or fight response and the endocrine system, which controls the releasing of stress hormones like corticosteroids. The new spray appears to regulate these areas.
'There are two types of stress. The first is when you are about to perform something or you know you are going to have to do something well. That's acute stress and can be a good form of stress.
'Bad stress is chronic stress and is associated with an increase in blood pressure, forgetfulness and a weakening of the immune system.'
Chronic stress has been shown to damage the hippocampus by reducing the number of connections between communicating cells, leading to memory loss.
Students working on the Australian project found that animals exposed to Serenascent – which combines three chemicals released when green leaves are cut – escaped damage to the hippocampus.
The scent is said to have the 'pleasant aroma of a freshly-cut lawn or a walk through a lush forest'. It will go into production next month and sell for around £4 a bottle.
Dr Lavidis, who worked with pharmacologist Professor Rosemary Einstein, said: 'It can be used as a room spray or a personal spray on bed linen, a handkerchief or clothing. Down the track we will look at incorporating the feel good chemicals into other products.'