Whatever mood you currently find yourself in, perfumes rooted in aromatherapy notes can offer sweet relief.
From happiness-boosters to stress-relievers, aromatherapy has had us covered for decades. The difference today is that you can summon the same mind/body benefits from a perfume as you can from the best essential oils.
That’s right, perfume with benefits is the deal here.
Studies show that smell triggers a massive 75 per cent of emotions. And both essential oils and fragrance can act as an aromatherapy agent.
Consequently, many of the latest fragrance launches contain individual notes with proven mood-enhancing effects.
Bergamot, found in Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Orange Soleia, banishes anxious thoughts, according to the journal Physiology & Behaviour. While Germany’s Tubingen University found that vanilla – the base for Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skinscent – makes you feel calmer and curbs the body’s stress reflexes.
But that’s not all.
Anything that smells good will make you feel good. So a warm, citrusy perfume like Louis Vuitton’s California Dream could just be as effective as bathing in lavender oil.
How Does Scent Improve Your Mood?
What’s happening behind the scenes goes something like this. When you inhale a scent it stimulates the limbic system, the brain’s emotional control center, where fear and joy originate.
‘If an aroma reminds you of a time when you felt happy, your brain releases mood-enhancing chemicals including serotonin,’ says Professor Tim Jacob, neurologist from the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University.
Tapping into positive memories also causes us to breathe more deeply and slowly. That in itself encourages mindfulness and can lower blood pressure.
So find the best perfume for women that you love – then sneak deep whiffs whenever you need a boost.
How to Choose A Perfume To Match Your Mood
If You Want To Feel Energised
Citrus scents including lemon, bergamot and grapefruit are almost always used in the same sentence as ‘uplifting’. They’re also your go-to for improving productivity.
‘Citrus scents revive us,’ says perfumer Roja Dove. ‘This is because they smell fresh. But also because the scent molecules are short lived. When you wear them, you experience the movement of lemon and orange molecules as they evaporate on your skin. That burst of energy is incredibly stimulating.’
If You Want To Feel Calm
Velvety woods, mellow musks and creamy vanilla can make you imagine that you’re holed up in a quiet bolthole. They’re so comforting, they’re like getting a proverbial hug in a bottle.
Also interesting: research shows that worrying world events draws us to childhood scents.
‘Most are wound up with scents from nature and being outdoors,’ explains Dove.‘They unearth memories of a more carefree time, when all seemed right with the world.’
If You Want To Be Reminded of Holidays
35 per cent of our memories are linked to smell. Which is why perfumers often try to bottle a particular moment in time so they can transport you somewhere with good vibes only.
The effect is warm and faintly aquatic, like salty skin tinged with sunscreen drying in the heat. After a few seconds, it’s like the beach is within touching distance.
For more perfumes to make you smile every time you wear them, keep scrolling…
The Best Mood-Boosting Perfumes For Summer 2020
Louis Vuitton perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud set out to bottle a sunset over LA. And, oof, does he succeed. Fresh citrus conjures up blue skies before warm musk and vanilla-tinged benzoin rush in to recreate the soft, crackling heat of the sun going down. It's the sort of perfume you'd wear drinking Whispering Angel on a roof terrace.
According to Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge, this 'reflects the joyful, sunny spirit of the Côte d’Azur in the 1920s and the bright, happy atmosphere of party nights.’ Technically a launch from last year but the combination of jasmine, fresh citrus and sandalwood captures the promise of azure blue seas and dancing sunlight on bare limbs like nothing else.
Fresh, herbal and totally spot on for a summertime refresh. First ginger, mandarin and a dash of sea salt sizzle on the skin. Then dune herbs and woods burst through, taking your mind straight to the beach as the sun sets and the sea breeze picks up.
Think Sicilian citrus groves soaked in hot sun. A crisp cocktail of red orange and bergamot is tempered by creamy tonka bean and an unexpected peppermint twist.
Two words: soft and sultry. It takes unlikely notes to conjure the smell of an island, but the blend of coconut water and the plant galbanum (a riff on seaweed), as well as splashy mandarin, driftwood and creamy frangipani flowers succeeds in a very mellow way. Meanwhile, the rainbow-coloured flacon, alongside patchouli and incense, captures the island’s 70s boho past.
Buttery tiare flower, along with creamy coconut and warm amber, sandalwood and vanilla remind you of bronzed, damp skin.
A departure from the rosy smells that have become Chloe cult classics. This one is decidedly more boho as a mix of oakmoss, sweet plum and sandalwood imbibe sun-dappled deserts and warm, earthy skin.
This scent is meant to capture waterlilies serenely floating on a garden pond – something we could have guessed blindfolded.