The transition from winter into spring is like emerging from a deep coma, or maybe returning home after being rescued from a deserted island you’ve been trapped on for years. There’s no clean break, no instantaneous rebound; rather, the new circumstances take some getting used to. There are growing pains. There are occasional setbacks. There is the sinking feeling of wearing a light jacket outside in April, then realizing it’s still 42 degrees and you’ve totally jumped the gun.
More so than any bright lipstick or the “natural” sun-kissed highlights you just got at the salon a week ago, scent and state of mind go hand-in-hand. Of all five senses, your sense of smell is most closely tied to your #feels—it’s linked directly to the area of the brain that stirs up both memory and emotion.
This can be a bad thing, like when you smell Smirnoff Ice and think about that time it made you so ill you thought you were going to die, but it can also be used to your advantage. Beyond pseudoscience, real research actually shows that certain scents can dramatically improve your mood. Hell, a Japanese custom called shinrin-yoku (aka “forest bathing”), which involves strolling through forests, is proven to be a legitimate depression- and anxiety-soothing method due in part to the wafting pine smell. Pine!
But because not everyone in the modern world has the luxury of taking a daily walk through a tree-filled expanse or sink into a field of calming lavender in the sunshine, there is bottled fragrance, and the mood-lifting properties that come with it. It isn’t clear whether or not most women actually “switch up” their fragrances to suit the season, as has been suggested by every women’s magazine ever, but exchanging your everyday EDP for something more, well, spring-y can definitely help to ease you out of that residual “it’s been cold and dark for as long as I can remember and I don’t know how to exist in this world anymore” ache.
A few recommended notes: Summery citrus (lemon, orange, mandarin, bergamot, clementine, grapefruit, and the like), certain florals (think geranium, freesia, jasmine, rose, and lily of the valley), and shock-to-the-senses mint. And if all else fails, look for buzzwords like “fresh,” “sparkling,” “refreshing,” and “invigorating,” and other adjectives that you’d use to describe a cold gulp of sparkling water on a hot day. Or champagne. Definitely champagne.