By Drea James

Fragrance oils have long been known for their therapeutic properties. Throughout history we have turned towards natural aromas to battle stress, anxiety, headaches, and insomnia. 

Why Do Scents Change Our Moods?

Through various small-scale studies, scientists have unlocked the key to the aromatherapy effect. The olfactory system in our bodies is what’s known as our sense of smell. Smells first enter the olfactory bulb then travel up to the amygdala and hippocampus, the areas of our brain responsible for emotions and memories. Certain fragrances trigger chemical reactions in our brains that help us relax, either due to the connection to our memories and emotions or because of other natural sedative properties within the fragrance itself.

Which Fragrances Are The Most Relaxing?

One of the most famous relaxing fragrances is lavender. Lavender has strong roots in the history of aromatherapy, and it is known for aiding in relaxation, sleep, and anxiety. Along with lavender, jasmine has also been proven to calm the overactive neurons in our brains with an “effect as powerful as sleeping pills and sedatives.” Other popular fragrances for relaxation include:

  • Vanilla
  • Chamomile
  • Citrus
  • Pine
  • Baby Powder

The results of aromatherapy also depend on our personal experiences. Whether it’s lavender, vanilla, jasmine, or something that reminds us of a loved one, any scent can be relaxing, as long as it triggers the right emotions and memories. Start your aromatherapy journey with the most popular relaxing scents and see where it takes you from there. 

The Soap Librarian has a love for soothing scents, such as the lavender and green tea Wuthering Heights bath salts, the wild lily & chamomile tea Luna bar soap, or the lavender tea Alice in Dreamland pillow spray.

Drea James is a freelance writer who loves books and tea. She enjoys making homemade bath products and runs the writing blog Writing Drea.