12 Scents That Will Make You More Productive

By Leanna Serras July 12, 2019
image of 12 Scents That Will Make You More Productive

Have you ever walked past a certain aroma and instantly experienced a flashback to your childhood? This happens because smells that enter your body have a direct link to your memory center.

When you hear, touch or taste something, that information passes through the thalamus, the part of the brain that relays sensory information, before reaching its correlated part of the brain. As such, you’re aware of the sense before you’re aware of the memory or emotion it corresponds to.

Smells, however, bypass the thalamus and head straight to the olfactory bulb, which is directly connected to the hippocampus (which is responsible for your memory) and the amygdala (where you process your emotions). Because odors are first routed through these regions before reaching the thalamus, they’re more closely linked to memory. This explains why aromatherapy can have a profound effect on our emotional, physical and mental state.

In fact, this study finds that certain scents that evoke positive autobiographical memories may be able to also lift the mood and reduce stress. There are scores of other studies that show scents affect things like memoryconcentrationsustained attention and cognitive function to improve productivity.

To help you work, here are the most powerful aromatherapies to boost your performance in the workplace.

scents to make you more productive infographic

1. Rosemary
This herb, which is commonly used in the kitchen, has a positive effect on memory. It also increases alertness in individuals exposed to the odor — the perfect combination to help you prepare for a brainstorm.

2. Vetiver
Vetiver (a type of fragrant grass) contains components that increase oxygenation of the cells in the brain. ADHD participants who inhaled it regularly experienced improved brain patterns and decreased symptoms, suggesting it may aid in concentration.

3. Coffee
It’s well known that ingesting coffee can promotes wakefulness, but its scent can also increase alertness. In fact, students who smelled coffee performed better on analytical reasoning tasks. The smell had a similar effect to if they had ingested the coffee.

4. Lemon
The tangy scent of lemon arouses the senses and improves cognitive function. In one study, it also caused participants to make 54 percent fewer errors when typing. Use lemon to help you power through that long proposal!

5. Jasmine
The smell of jasmine has a stimulatory effect on the nervous system. It’s used to re-energize and promote a sense of well-being and a positive mood. Sniff it during a break for an instant refresher.

6. Citrus
Bright, light citrus aromas are helpful for staying awake and alert. In one study, exposure to the scent increased physical activity and shortened response time in participants. Take a whiff before an important afternoon meeting to power up.

7. Cinnamon
Researchers find that the scent of cinnamon improves performance on tasks that require heightened attention. It also increases motor response speed and improves memory. All of these are highly useful in the workplace.

8. Peppermint
When given a whiff of peppermint essential oil, subjects of one study showed improved sustained attention, allowing them to concentrate on demanding tasks for longer. It also enhances the accuracy of memory and increases alertness.

9. Ginger
The sharp, aromatic smell of ginger fights fatigue and eases pain. It’s the perfect combination to help you power through a deadline or write complex code.

10. Pine
In one Japanese study, walking through a pine forest reduced stressed for those involved. Pine is also used to elevate the mood since it has an antidepressant effect. The scent can increase alertness and help clear the head to allow focus for the task at hand.

11. Lemongrass
Helpful for winding down after a long day, lemongrass eases anxiety and reduces stress. Using it allows the brain to relax and prepare for the next day.

12. Lavender
Sweet-smelling lavender improves concentration by recharging the brain during rest time. This allows you to return to work more revived than you would be otherwise.

Using aromatherapy as a productivity hack is not one of the most common ways to increase efficiency, but it’s definitely effective. The best part is that these scents are so accessible. Simply sniff some essential oils, create your own mist or wear your favorite perfume that includes the scent.

Share This Article

Featured Posts

best oud perfumes for women and men

Best Oud Perfumes for Women and Men

September 18, 2019
woman walking down the street looking confident and happy

What is Sillage + 10 Other Fragrance Terms You Should Know

September 10, 2019
attractive perfume bottles with roses

Fragrance Notes: Everything You Need to Know

September 10, 2019
attractive young woman drinking water

13 Beauty Benefits of Drinking Water

September 10, 2019

VIDEO: Best Men’s Fragrances with Jeremy Fragrance!

September 4, 2019
woman looking in the mirror and touching her face

8 Face Yoga Exercises for Anti-Aging

August 28, 2019
woman mixing essential oils

24 Essential Oil Roller Recipes (+ Free Wedding Gift Printables)

August 26, 2019
lady with tattoo smelling her wrist

How to Smell Good: 18 Ways to Smell Fresh All Day

August 20, 2019

Best Niche Perfumes For Fall

August 18, 2019
Jean jacket with open perfume bottle on it's side sitting next to it

How to Get Perfume Out of Clothes: 6 Methods to Try

August 15, 2019

What is Eau de Toilette & How Does it Compare to Other Fragrances?

August 9, 2019
peach colored perfume in decorative box with ribbon around the box

How to Store Perfume: 13 Ways to Help Your Fragrance Last Longer

August 5, 2019
woman standing near her sliding glass door

13 Ways to Prevent Indoor Air Pollution (Backed by Science)

August 5, 2019

Best Citrus Fragrances for Summer

July 28, 2019

15 Evidence-Based Aphrodisiac Scents to Improve Date Night

July 18, 2019
woman laying in bed smiling

9 Benefits of Beauty Sleep – According to Science

July 16, 2019
man and woman enjoying a date

[Survey] Women’s Biggest Date Killers Revealed

July 12, 2019
cologne bottles lying on a black table

How to Apply Cologne: A Man’s Guide to Fragrance Usage

July 12, 2019
perfume bottles, flowers and fun little illustrations

Kids Craft: “Perfume” with Printable Labels

July 12, 2019
flowers and petals in science equipment

The Science of Scent Marketing

July 12, 2019
Bride putting perfume on her wrist - close up

Find Your Perfect Wedding Fragrance

July 12, 2019
closeup on a diffuser

15 Scents to Help You Sleep

July 12, 2019
Person holding clear containers of homemade beauty products

35 Coconut Oil Beauty Products You Can Make at Home

July 1, 2019
woman sneezing into tissue

Fragrance Sensitivity: What You Need to Know

July 1, 2019
colorful perfume bottles arranged in a row

Your Guide to the Fragrance Wheel and Scent Families

June 26, 2019

 A Week of Vacation Fragrances For Summer

June 19, 2019
happy woman meditating on beach

Celebrity Morning Routines Backed By Science

June 11, 2019

Best Designer Perfumes for June Brides and Grooms

May 21, 2019
A perfume makers extracts ingredients to create a fragrance.

14 Strangest Perfume Ingredients of All Time

May 20, 2019
Women sitting at window ledge with tea

15 Healing Aromatherapy Scents And How to Use Them

May 13, 2019
photo of perfume making materials

How Is Perfume Made? The Perfume Manufacturing Guide

April 26, 2019
Best niche perfumes for fall

15 Fragrance Hacks to Make Your Perfume Last Longer

April 25, 2019

Best Perfumes For Mother’s Day

April 22, 2019
essential oils, flowers and herbs

8 Scents Scientifically Proven to Increase Student Productivity

April 19, 2019

Versace Dylan Blue: 3 Moments This Cologne Makes Infinitely Better

April 3, 2019

Parfums de Coeur: 5 Wild & Wonderful Fragrances to Try

March 26, 2019

Award Winning Fragrances for Men and Women

March 24, 2019

Ferrari Colognes: The 4 Best Fragrances to Test-Drive

March 21, 2019
herbs, flowers and spices

The Fascinating History of Perfume

March 21, 2019

Joop! Cologne: 4 Signs You Need to Start Wearing It Immediately

March 13, 2019
woman testing perfume to see if its expired

Does Perfume Expire? Find out If Your Fragrance Has Gone Bad

March 8, 2019

Polo Cologne: How a Legendary Scent Lasted 40 Years

March 5, 2019

How To Find Your Signature Scent: Starting a Perfume Collection

March 3, 2019

Black Cologne by Kenneth Cole: A Rare Scent for All Four Seasons

February 25, 2019

Chrome Cologne by Azzaro: 3 Occasions This Scent is Perfect For

February 18, 2019

Rihanna Nude Perfume: Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Wear It?

January 23, 2019
Follow us @Fragancex