How To: Find the Best Scent For Your Mood

We all know that certain foods (hello chocolate) are proven mood-boosters, but for a better state of mind, you’re better off surrounding yourself with the right scents. Certain fragrances can, quite literally, get your good juju juices flowing.

Here’s how it works: Your olfactory center (a.k.a. your nose) is connected to the brain’s limbic center, which influences both the endocrine system (hormone headquarters) and the autonomic nervous system (the control center for functions like digestion, respiration, and perspiration). In other words, just by inhaling certain aromas, you can directly change the way you feel.

We’ve done the research and singled out four fragrances (plus a few perfumes, salves, and oils that make use of these attitude-altering scents) that deliver everything from inner peace to instant energy. Happy sniffing.

Jasmine

This uplifting floral fragrance will take your outlook from glass-half-empty to oh-happy-day, calm your nerves, and bring out your inner butterfly.

Birchbox Pick: Lucy B’s Jasmine roll-on oil, which is infused with an organic blend flower essences including magnolia, water lily, and most notably, Australian wild jasmine.

Vetiver

Quell anxiety with a whiff of the so-called “Oil of Tranquility,” made from a perennial grass native to India that is known for its ability to balance hormones, fight off irritability, and relieve depression.

Birchbox Pick: Marie Veronique’s 100 percent vegan oil was formulated to relax and soothe with its blend of lavender oil, jasmine oil, and vetiver oil.

Peppermint

This potent herb is nature’s Ritalin. In the gym, you’ll work out harder and feel less tired. In the office, you’ll be more alert and focused.

Birchbox Pick: Get concentrating by dabbing some of 21 Drops’ Focus—a blend of rosemary leaf oil, peppermint leaf oil, and frankincense—on your temples and sides of your neck.

Rose

There’s a reason roses are associated with romance. This aromatic aphrodisiac, long a key ingredient in love potions, will bring sexy back to the boudoir. Bonus: it also has anti-depressant qualities.

Birchbox Pick: Crafted with fewer notes than traditional fragrances to allow the notes to really come through, Kiehl’s Aromatic Blend Orange and Lychee Body Spray features lush Moroccan rose.

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