From that first whiff of morning coffee that ushers in the new day, to that flowery perfume that reminds you of your grandmother, we all know scents can trigger powerful emotions.
But did you know that they can also help you work harder, smarter, and longer?
Science has shown that many common scents can boost your memory, increase focus, and even enhance your productivity.
Here are five scents to help you breathe a little easier at work.
Ylang Ylang for Self-Esteem
Ylang Ylang is an exotic flowering tree that originates from Indonesia. Oils extracted from the Ylang Ylang flower are used for a range of purposes, including perfumes, medicines, and aromatherapy. A 2014 study conducted in Brazil found that the scent of Ylang Ylang can significantly increased self-esteem when inhaled.
Next time you have a job interview or an important meeting, try a few drops of Ylang Ylang in an aromatherapy diffuser to give yourself a little confidence boost.
Peppermint for Brainstorming
Peppermint is refreshing and invigorating, to be sure. However, there’s a lot more going on in this cool mint than just a pleasant aroma. The scent of peppermint has been shown to enhance concentration and focus, and stimulate mental clarity. It can also reduce fatigue and annoyance, according one study.
If you’re heading into a epic project meeting, use a few drops of peppermint oil to help you cut through the noise and get to the point.
Rosemary for Memory
Rosemary is great on your lamb roast, but scientists have discovered it also has secret memory-enhancing powers. On study found that the aroma of rosemary enhanced speed and accuracy, and also increased memory test scores by 10%.
Got a big speech coming up? Using rosemary to help you memorize it could pay off big time.
Lavender to Calm Your Nerves
The scent of lavender has been shown to have a calming effect, and is perfect for reducing stress or soothing your nerves when you’re strung out.
If you’re feeling anxious about a looming deadline or a heavy workload, lavender can help bring you back down to Earth, and keep you on the level.
Lemon for Motivation
We all know that lemon can soothe a sore throat, and boost our immune system when we’re run down. But did you know that the scent of lemon can also get you motivated?
A study from Ohio State University found that sniffing lemon can increase norepinephrine, a brain chemical linked to executive decision making and motivation. One Japanese study also found that the scent of lemon significantly improved typing accuracy among office workers.