Our sense of smell is a powerful tool for improving moods. Just think about how the aroma of freshly brewed coffee can perk you up and how baked cookies right out of the oven can put a smile on anyone’s face (and some might argue that the mere smell of fresh baked goods can add pounds too).
An article in Psychology Today reports on the impact various scents can have on our state of mind. "Scents can have positive effects on mood, stress reduction, sleep enhancement, self-confidence, and physical and cognitive performance," says Theresa Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute, the research and educational arm of the perfume industry's Fragrance Foundation. So if you’re looking for a little mood booster, here are three go-to scents that will do the trick:
AFFECT: Aids in relaxation
Known for its calming properties, lavender can help soothe nerves and relieve emotional stress. It’s also good for helping you relax and sleep better. (Check out our lavender-scented scent booster and fabric softener pacs; imagine the mood boost you’ll get next time you take your lightly-scented lavender towels out of the dryer!)
AFFECT: Improves alertness and energy
While you might associate citrus with Vitamin C, it’s time to start thinking of scents from lemons and oranges as an energy booster too. Simply sniffing the fruit can help with alertness, according to this article in Marie Claire which states, “Vitamin C is a miracle worker. Not only does drinking it help, but even smelling the stuff can revitalize your senses and cure chronic fatigue.”
AFFECT: Eases exhaustion, improves energy
Smelling peppermint can help fight fatigue and raise energy levels. Some athletes incorporate it into their fitness routine to help keep their energy levels up. Peppermint has also been known to calm nausea. Try this tip from Woman’s Day: “[Keep] a bottle of peppermint essential oil or bag of peppermint tea on your nightstand so you can inhale the positive scents right as you wake up.”