Our sense of smell is a powerful tool, so much so that perfume can affect your mood in a multitude of ways. Certain scents can trigger emotions and make us feel happy, calm, positive, confident, attractive, sad or even angry.
Considering hungry shoppers spend more when they shop for groceries, is the smell of freshly baked bread in a store without a bakery a coincidence? Companies have been taking advantage of this phenomenon for many years. They use various fragrances to trigger our emotions to encourage us to spend more, and they spend millions doing it. It’s called scent marketing.
How can perfume affect your mood? Your brain works a little like your phones camera. You are constantly saving ‘videos’ to your memory. However, the brain will also save other related pieces of information for each event, such as smell, taste and emotion. When you encounter the same scent again, you not only recall the ‘video’ event from your memory, but you feel the associated emotion.
Travel Back In Time To An Emotion
Have you ever been hit by a random smell and then instantly transported back to a moment in your childhood. For me, whenever I smell musky cardboard, I am instantly transported back to the moment when my Dad was creating me a fancy dress costume (a robot!) out of cardboard boxes. That was back in 1977 for the Queen’s Jubilee, however I remember it like yesterday and also feel the emotion of excitement related to that particular moment.
Ingrid is the same, in the article 18 Invisible Benefits Of Wearing Perfume she explains:
“My late grandmother’s perfume was an English Lavender fragrance from Yardley. Whenever as a child I was brushing my hair at her dressing table mirror I would sneakily spray myself. She had it in one of those old fashioned perfume diffusers that you squeeze the squishy ball. To this day if I ever smell lavender I get transported straight back to that dressing table. Wonderful times.”
Taste as well as smell can trigger our emotional recall. There is superbly demonstrated in a scene from the wonderful 2007 animated movie ‘Ratatouille’ where the food critic ‘Anton Ego’ has a flashback to his childhood due to the taste of a perfect ratatouille dish.
Create Your Future Moods And Emotion
It’s fair to say that it is unlikely that there is a fragrance available with the scent of ‘musty cardboard’ to allow me to feel the emotion of excitement from that particular moment when I was a child. Not sure I would want to wear it neither!
However the amazing thing about the human mind is you can ‘program’ it to associate new scents with any emotion you choose. The process is simple. The next time you are feeling a particular emotion such as happiness, apply a particular perfume. Over the next week or two, every time you feel that emotions, apply the exact same perfume. Eventually you will find that even on days you are not feeling the emotion, applying the perfume will bring you that emotion. It works (on me), I use this method all the time!
Perfume Scents To Affect Your Mood
Research has show that most of us appear to come ‘pre-programmed’ to associate certain scents with certain moods and emotion. Below are some rather interesting mood altering perfume scents that the majority of us can be affected by.
What Scents Make You Happy?
Research has shown that certain scents can have a positive effect on your overall happiness and outlook. According to a study published in Chemical Senses, vanilla is the number one scent that is linked to elevated positive mood levels. Lavender and citrus are also great mood elevators in most people.
Dior’s Joy Intense does what it says on the tin. It captures the feeling of happiness in a bottle. A soft and gentle combination of citrus scents and woody musks makes this a cheerful fragrance which is as charming as it is alluring. Top notes of citrus and neroli. Mid notes of centifolia rose and jasmine grandiflorum. Base notes of vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli.
What Scents Make You Calm?
We have been using the power of scent for thousands or years to promote a feeling of calm. For example, frankincense is used widely in meditation and can reduce inflammation, stress, and increase overall calm. YouBodyTheTemple covers this in far more detail.
Mon Guerlain Florale has plenty of calming notes that make this the perfect fragrance for a chill day. It’s light, and charismatic aroma works wonders. Top notes of lavender and bergamot. Mid notes of jasmine, neroli, peony and paradisone. Base notes of vanilla, sandalwood, white musk and iris.
What Scents Make You Sleep Better?
Wearing the same to perfume to bed each night will help your body associate the scent with sleep-time. Some notes are better than others at helping you to relax fully and fall asleep more quickly.
Related: Wearing Perfume To Bed
Guerlain Mon Guerlain Bloom Of Rose Eau de Toilette is a fresh floral fragrance with notes of mandarin, rose, and white musk. Top notes of neroli and lavender. Mid notes of Bulgarian rose and jasmine. Base notes of vanilla and sandalwood.
What Scents Relieve Stress?
If you are feeling anxious or stressed, there are a number of scents that you can call upon to combat the problem. Aromatherapy is becoming more and more mainstream thanks to positive feedback from those embracing the technique. Below are some of the most popular aromatherapy scents used for stress relief from VeryWellMind.com.
Tom Ford Private Blend Neroli Portofino could be a real stress buster. This gorgeous fragrance is a unisex perfume available for men and women with citrus overtones and a light, refreshing scent. It is a sensuous blend of fruits and florals which creates an elegant and sweet fragrance reminiscent of summer sunshine.
The citrus scent of neroli is accentuated by other fruit fragrances including African orange flower, mandarin and lemon against a musky base of amber. Overall, the fragrance is complex and modern with a romantic and sophisticated air.
What Scents Make Exercising Easier?
We know the beat of certain music can get us ready for exercise and also keep us going for longer. By adding perfume into the mix is adding your powerful sense of smell into the equation.
Choose a fragrance with strong citrus notes and wear the same fragrance each time you exercise. After a few weeks, simply wearing the perfume will get your body ready for a workout. Just don’t wear that particular fragrance for bedtime!
Mandarino Di Amalfi by Tom Ford has all the exercise inducing citrus top notes you need combined with mint and thyme. All of which are perfectly supported by steady base notes of amber and musk. Top notes of mandarin orange, bergamot and lemon. Mid notes of mint and thyme. Base notes of amber and Musk.
What Scents Make You Concentrate More
If a boost of concentration is required, it’s vital to ensure you select a fragrance with the most memory enhancing notes. A fragrance comprising of citrus top notes, green mid notes, and woody/musk base notes can aid concentration and overall alertness.
If additional concentration if needed, you could check out Guerlain’s Eau de Guerlain. It is a fresh, vibrant sparkling combintion of dry herbs blends with the tangy aroma of lemon, bergamot and verbena to evoke the sun-kissed region of Provence. Top notes of lemon, bergamot and basil. Mid notes of mint, jasmine and verbena. Base notes of amber and musk.
There is certainly compelling evidence that perfume can affect your mood. Certain scents can elevate your mood, improve memory, help you de-stress, sleep better, and even allow you to exercise for longer. Adding fragrance to your daily routine to alter your mood should be seen as a positive personal investment.
Before you go, I have put together a review of the most elegant perfumes ranging from timeless classics to modern day sophistication that I think you will enjoy.
Discover Your Perfect Fragrance
Please take a moment to browse through my hand-picked collection of exquisite perfumes.
There may just be the perfect fragrance waiting there for you!
Andrew is a fragrance enthusiast, collector, and seasoned writer who has a burning passion for all things fragrance and flavour related. From woody aromatics to green & spicy, I leave no stone unturned in my quest to discover the ultimate scent. Andrew’s Full Bio.