I Swear By Mood-Boosting Perfumes—These Are the 14 That Always Cheer Me Up


When it comes to fragrance, I’m a firm believer that the best perfumes are the ones you connect with on a personal level; that give you a boost of confidence, act as a comfort blanket, evoke a fond memory, or put a spring in your step on a dreary grey day. But what’s interesting about fragrance is that although on one level it’s incredibly subjective, on another, there’s an ability to easily categorise certain scents. Most of us are in agreement over whether a perfume is better for nighttime wear rather than day, which fragrances remind us of spring or are best suited to winter, and what scents can boost our mood versus those that calm it.

But what’s the science behind the connection between scent and the effect it has upon our mood, our emotions, and our memories? “Scents can have a powerful effect on mood,” explains perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek, whose entire brand is built around the concept of functional fragrance. “Our sense of smell is more closely linked to memory than any other sense, so that if an odour triggers a memory it will immediately trigger an emotion linked to that memory.” On a scientific level, this translates quite literally into the way that our brain registers a fragrance. “The olfactory bulb is closely linked to the limbic system, which is the part of the brain that governs our emotional and behavioural responses, as well as associative learning and memory,” adds Mastenbroek. “Essential oils can also affect certain parts of our brain – they can calm your nervous system and slow heart rate and breathing. They can be stimulating and energising, or soothing and uplifting.”

Because different scents affect different parts of our brain, this is why we can recognise similarities in the way we as individuals perceive specific notes. After all, there’s reason why lavender is included in products like sleep sprays and night creams, and why citrus-flavoured body washes are the most popular choice for a morning shower. “Scents that boost mood can include uplifting oils of peppermint, bergamot and geranium, while neroli, ylang ylang and chamomile are among the most calming,” explains Mastenbroek. “For stress-busters, look for scents containing patchouli, rose, and sandalwood, while lavender and frankincense are renowned for the sense of balance they can bring.”And the list goes on… “Rosemary elevates our concentration and helps reduce stress, clary sage is soothing and can reduce stress too, whilst peppermint oil can help energise and refresh,” adds Mastenbroek’s son and apprentice perfumer Nic Mastenbroek. “Vanilla notes are also popular in fragrance because of their soothing properties.”

Understanding which notes inspire certain feelings and emotions is a great way to choose your perfume. For example, a floral geranium and neroli blend might perk you up in the morning, while a warm sandalwood scent will be perfect for an evening wind-down. 

Furthermore, on a more personal level our brains continue to establish further connections to certain scents based on the feelings we then experience while wearing them. “Anecdotally we’ve probably all experienced certain feelings being triggered when we’ve smelled something which has reminded us of a loved one, or a certain time of our lives,” says Nic Mastenbroek. “This immediate and instinctive reaction to smell can be so powerful that it can knock us for six, for example if a smell reminds us of a lost loved one.” It’s for this reason that you might come to associate a perfume with a certain place or time. I for one, can’t smell Tom Ford’s Violet Orchid without being transported back to my post-university “going out-out” days, while Byredo’s Bal d’Afrique will forever remind me of a summer I spent in Australia.

When I need to boost my mood however, I do find myself reaching for certain scents, and once I sat down to compile a list of my favourite mood-boosting perfumes I noticed a common theme. Notes like lemon, tomato leaf, oakmoss, and bergamot pop up again and again—all of which are known for being bright, fresh, and invigorating. If you’re after a mood-boosting perfume yourself, scroll down—you might just discover a new fave.

Copyright : https://www.whowhatwear.co.uk/mood-boosting-perfumes

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