Scents & Sensibility

Enhance your Western aesthetic with fragrance to fit your style and home.

By Abigail Boatwright

New leather. Sagebrush. Horsehide. The smells of Western life instantly conjure memories of hours in the saddle and nights sitting around a campfire—and that’s because the human sense of smell uniquely connects odors to memories and emotions. If you’re looking to infuse your life with scents that evoke a love of the West, we’ve got suggestions of how to sniff out that cowboy essence.

Horse ‘Scents’

Studies have found that odors trigger more emotional and specific autobiographical memories compared to other senses.

“None of our other senses have this level of targeted connection with the areas of the brain that process emotion, associative learning and memory,” Rachel Herz wrote in a 2016 Brain Sci article.

Studies also show that pleasant ambient scents can be used to enhance our moods and wellbeing. Fragrance might remind you of an emotional moment, like falling in love or being successful at work, says Jake Nagle, vice president of brand growth for Tru Western, a fragrance brand.

“By wearing that fragrance, oftentimes it takes you to that place that triggers something in your mind that can be really positive and an affirmation of something good,” Jake said. 

Danielle Vincent, founder of Outlaw Soaps, explains we feel better when we have our favorite scents around us.

“The best scents are the ones that evoke memories or inspire us to be who we know in our hearts that we are: heroes, caretakers, lovers and workers,” Danielle said. “Scent gives us the opportunity to affirm who we are to ourselves and to others.”


This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Winter 2022 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.