Jasmine. While more present in evening perfumes, some colognes contain this wonder scent, and you should take advantage of that: jasmine gives off a “romantic” vibe, and who wouldn’t want to feel like they’re on Cloud 9 the rest of the day? Added bonus: recent research has found that jasmine has a calming effect similar to that of Valium! Brain scans showed that jasmine enhanced the chemical GABA in the brain, which helps soothe, relax, and relieve anxiety.
Citrus. If you’re the active, sporty, “always on the go” type, then a citrus-scented perfume or beauty product is perfect for you. Nothing wakes you up like a whiff of citrus; think oranges, lemons, and grapefruits. The scent of citrus gives your brain an energetic “jolt”, making you feel more productive and gung-ho to start the day. And it’s no wonder many perfume companies market their products with citrus notes as a “happy” perfume: a study done in Japan back in 1995 found that the smell of citrus significantly lessened depression in a number of patients. Worried you might smell like a tall glass of OJ? Fret not. Most perfume companies combine citrus with lighter floral notes.
Vanilla. If you’ve ever sliced open a fresh vanilla pod and inhaled deeply, there’s a big chance you thought, “I wish I could wear this scent all day.” We’re not surprised. Studies show that vanilla has a surprisingly calming effect. In 1991, the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York found that cancer patients exposed to a vanilla-like scent reported 63% less anxiety and claustrophobia. Not only that, but a study done at Tubingen University in Germany revealed that the smell of vanilla reduces the startle reflex in both humans and animals. Vanilla also relaxes the other senses as it makes the wearer feel “homey” (which explains why you never want to leave a bakeshop when a fresh batch of Vanilla Cupcakes just got out of the oven!).
Rose. Yes, it’s a floral note that most “romantic” perfumes carry, but it also has a calming effect that can help soothe your senses throughout the day. Some people believe that the aroma of roses releases endorphins, which can lift your mood. And it could also help your memory. A study done in the University of Lübeck had people exposed to the smell of roses before playing a memory card game on a computer. After that, half the people who played the card game were exposed to the same rose-scent while they slept. The next day, they outperformed others in the same card game by 15%. Okay, so maybe it’s a stretch to spray perfume before heading for bed, but it won’t hurt to think the perfume you’re wearing not only makes you smell fresh, but helps give your memory a boost, too!
Ylang Ylang. Originally from the Philippines, Ylang Ylang means “flower of all flowers”. It is yet another sweet, light-fruity floral scent that has been said to relieve stress and anxiety with its mood elevating properties. A study done in Thailand in 2004 found that the scent of Ylang Ylang significantly decreased the blood pressure and pulse rate in a group of volunteers, while heightening their attentiveness and alertness. No wonder Ylang Ylang is a favorite when it comes to aromatherapy. Many patients suffering from depression report feeling better after being massaged with Ylang Ylang oil. A plus for this scent? Some even swear that Ylang Ylang is an aphrodisiac!