Everyone needs a little extra relaxation in their life these days and aromatherapy can be one of the easiest (and most enjoyable!) ways to create an instant oasis of calm. Whether you’re a beginner just getting started or already familiar with the benefits of aromatherapy and looking to expand your collection of scents, here are our top 10 picks for calming scents to de-stress with.
Our Top Picks for Calming Scents
Need a moment of soothing calm? These scents are perfect for calming you mind, body and spirit.
Lavender is an immensely popular herb scent with good reason. Modern science is finally catching up with folk wisdom and demonstrating lavender's positive effect on both enhancing mood and sleep. Lavender's fragrant flowers have been shown to calm the mind and improve sleep quality. It's a perfect end of the day scent to help you wind-down and get ready for bed. Lavender is also pretty universally popular and makes a great gift.
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance,” —Ophelia, Hamlet by Shakespeare. The strong herbal scent of rosemary has long been linked with improving memory and concentration and is a good calming scent for students or anyone working on a big project. While lavender and jasmine are perfect for winding down at the end of your day, rosemary is both energizing and calming and makes a great mid-day scent to help you focus.
Jasmine is another powerhouse floral scent that you've undoubtedly come across. Jasmine's delicate white flowers bely their rich, sensual scent. The scent soothes away tension and is especially good at improving overall sleep quality. Some argue that it's even more effective than lavender for creating a good night's sleep.
Ylang ylang might be a less familiar sounding name than others on the list but it's very popular in fragrances, candles and soaps so you've likely smelled it before. It has a very heavy, sweet fruity floral scent. Ylang ylang is known to be a mood booster, alleviating anxiety and tension.
The scent of pine might bring to mind Christmas trees, but the scent deserves the spotlight year-round. A study in Japan showed short walks in a forest could decrease hostility, depression and anxiety. For those of us who don't have easy access to stroll through an evergreen forest, use the scent of the pines to relax and visualize a calming stroll through a forest.
While you might be most familiar with bay leaves from cooking, they also have a uniquely herbal scent. Bay leaves contain linalool, a compound known to alleviate anxiety and make for a calming scent. Similar to using bay leaves in cooking, the evergreen scent of bay is quite pungent on its own and is most enjoyable when paired with other scents which can round it out.
Vanilla has come to be slang for boring and basic. However true vanilla aroma is practically magic. It's a scent that's intensely comforting, calming and sensual all at once. While it's beautiful and complex fragrance on its own, vanilla also pairs well with other scents and can add a subtle hint of cozy sweetness to practically anything. If you're looking for a warm gourmand scent to help you relax, and conjure dreams of delicious treat, try vanilla.
Fig is a calming scent which reminds people of home and relaxation. It's a warm, summer scent that speaks of casual comforts and sun-drenched memories. It feels impossible to feel sad or anxious when smelling the pure joy that is fig. Sweet and irrepressible, fig is a sunny calming treat.