5 Scents to Turn to When You’re Stressed Out of Your Mind

Aly Walansky
Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

If you find yourself staring at the clock in the wee hours of the morning or with a neck full of knots after a long day, you may need some help de-stressing. While an hour-long massage is our favorite way to unwind, there are easier (and chaper!) ways to go about it, especially when you incorporate relaxing scents.

All scents stimulate our nerves to fire in the emotional center of the brain, says Trish Herndon of Pink Parchment Soaps. Because of this, if you have a particular scent that brings about a happy or relaxing memory, you may want to seek out fragrances that help you relive these memories. For example, if you love the fragrance of lavender and/or have wonderful, relaxing memories of walking in a garden filled with lavender with your mother or grandmother, you can relive these moment by buying fresh lavender, burning a lavender candle or take a long refreshing bath with a lavender bath bomb and lavender soap. On the other hand, if you grew up in a kitchen surrounded by wonderful desserts, you may want to look for fragrances that have “dessert” scents. Vanilla, caramel, snicker doodle, chocolate, caramel—the list goes on and on.

If you find yourself without a particular scent to turn to, never fear. Below are scents that have been proven to help reduce stress. 

A ritual of using the scent of lavender before bedtime is very calming and can induce a good night’s sleep, says life coach Barbara Biziou. It can be done in conjunction with journaling or deep breathing. Lavender can also be used as a relaxant in massage therapy, bath or even just soaking your feet.

We love a dash of cinnamon in our latte, but it’s not only delicious—it also possesses a scent that reduces stress and boosts our mood. No wonder it’s such an ideal companion for our morning coffee.

Floral Fragrances
Freesia and tuberose are favorite foral fragrances, says Wilton Lee of Lee’s Florist & Nursery and Florist in Berkeley, CA on BloomNation.com. Their sweet fragrance makes you forget about the hassles of the work day.

Orange, tangerine, lemon, lime…the citrus scents are all relaxing and uplifting. You can use it in a massage (which in itself relaxes) and the added power of the essential oil fragrance can uplift and relax, says Audrey Christie McLaughlin, a registered nurse and aromatherapist.

You know how we all crave chocolate around our period? Just the scent helps relieve the hormones associated with stress. Plus, it’s delicious!

Read more: Products That Relax Your Body and Mind