Experts say these fragrance notes can positively affect your emotions

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Of all the senses, smell is one of the most closely linked to memory – and this is just one reason why fragrances can make us feel good, if they remind us of something happy.

It might be that roses remind you of your grandmother’s garden, why sunscreen makes you think of past holidays, or how forests take you back to childhood camping trips.

Everyone has their own set of smells that trigger fond memories and feelings.

On top of this, fragrances can make us feel confident and enhance a certain vibe we might want to embody.

For example, what’s the fragrance you wear to a job interview, on a date, or for a casual Saturday?

It’s likely you switch into different ‘moods’ based on what you’re wearing.

Aromatherapy is another way fragrance has been used to change our moods in a positive way – this is why spas always smell like eucalyptus and lavender.

According to research by Mood Media, 75% of all emotions are linked to smell, so their power isn’t to be underestimated.

The science backs this up, too.

Jonny Webber, from PerfumeDirect.com, says: ‘Your sense of smell is very closely linked to the part of the brain, the limbic system, that is responsible for emotion and memory.’

As the limbic system connects to glands that release hormones, this can all influence our nervous system and stress levels. This means certain smells can have soothing affect.

‘Certain smells, such as citrus and musk have been shown to arouse the central nervous system, sharpening alertness and concentration – while other scents, such as lavender, nutmeg and bergamot, have a relaxing effect,’ he adds.

Since 2019, perfume sales have increased – particularly in the last few Januarys – and in the first half of 2022, sales of women’s perfume rose by 137%.

It’s clear people can’t get enough of smelling and feeling good.

So if you want to buy a spritz of ‘happy’ or ‘calm’, these are the fragrance notes you should be looking out for.

Ylang-ylang

Ylang-ylang is made from the flowers of a herb.

Common in fragrances, it can make people feel more relaxed and reduce anxiety.

It’s also said to be an aphrodisiac.

Fragrance to try: Le Labo Ylang 49 – though not a straight ylang-ylang scent, this chypre fragrance is modelled around the floral note.

Jasmine

Jasmine is best-known as an aphrodisiac, but it’s also been linked to helping ease depressive symptoms.

It’s also been found to make people feel more alert, showing the benefits of this heady white floral are far-ranging.

Fragrance to try: Gucci Bloom – one of the most iconic jasmine scents out there, this also uses tuberose which enhances the seductive quality of the scent.

Citrus

Citrus scents can be invigorating, perfect for helping you feel energised.

Lemon can be helpful when you’re feeling angry, anxious or run down, according to Beverley Hawkins, owner of the West Coast Institute of Aromatherapy.

Fragrance to try: Tocca Stella – this interesting orange-based fragrance isn’t tart like most citrus scents, instead it has a powdery finish that makes the orange notes read as if they are ready to be harvested. An autumn winter fragrance at its finest.

Rosemary

Herbs, like flowers, can also have a positive impact.

Rosemary has been identified as a ‘cognitive stimulant’ in research, with data showing it can contribute to memory improvements, boosted alertness and focus.

Some studies have even found it can improve brain function in some cases.

Fragrance to try: Lush Pansy – a strong rosemary fragrance with a unique finish that smells as though you’re in a herbaceous garden.

Vanilla

Vanilla is known as a ‘happy’ scent – as studies have shown it creates positive associations and evokes feelings of warmth and happiness.

It can also promote relaxation, calm anxiety and alleviate claustrophobia.

Going a step further, vanilla has been found to ‘quieten’ the mind and relieve tension.

In fragrances it often features as a base note.

Fragrance to try: Kayali Fragrances Vanilla 28 – a grown up vanilla with a dark amber note, making it ideal for day and night.

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