How to Use Perfume to Influence Your Mood


Did you know that you can follow your nose to happiness? No, you can’t trade in your plastic bottle of anti-depressants for a glass bottle of perfume and call yourself cured, but for minor ups, downs, or the desire to be in any kind of mood other than the one you’re currently in, you can turn to the aisles of Ulta, Sephora, or a department store to grant your wish with a spritz from a bottle.

If you want to feel happier: Citrus perfumes or “green” scents can make you feel happy and alive, becoming just the pick-me-up you need on a long, boring day. White florals can work, too. Try Clinique Happy (aptly named, no?), Bvlgari Omnia Green Jade, or Green Tea by Elizabeth Arden.

If you want to feel sensual, sexy, and like heads are turning your way as you strut through a place on the prowl for Mr. Right or even Mr. Right Now: Sandalwood, amber, vanilla, jasmine, and sometimes even gardenia work wonders for making you feel sexy. Warm scents could make you feel more open, and invite people to cozy up and enjoy a flirty conversation with you. Try Armani Code, Thierry Mugler Alien, or Guerlain Samsara. If those notes aren’t your cup of tea, wear what makes you feel incredible and you’ll become a magnet for other people.

If you want to feel confident and powerful: For a job interview or a big meeting where you want to feel capable of speaking up if the need arises, you’re going to want a perfume—or even a men’s cologne that doesn’t err too far to the masculine side of things—that makes you feel in control. Try Gucci Guilty, which is a women’s perfume with a masculine edge. There’s mandarin, pink pepper, patchouli, peach, lilac, and more, and from personal experience (and a shout-out from Women’s Health magazine last year), I can say that it makes you feel totally in control. Another one to try is Tom Ford’s White Patchouli, which honestly doesn’t smell much like patchouli at all but is a confidence-boosting, business-like scent.

If you’re feeling a little angsty and melancholy and you just want to dive into the feeling, wallow in it for awhile, and then move on: Sometimes you just have to embrace your emotions but something’s holding you back. Using a perfume to wrap yourself in a cloak of melancholy feelings and curl up on the couch can help you to deal with what you’re going through. Then you can wash away the negative feelings with the scent. Try L’Heure Bleue from Guerlain, the most melancholy scent I’ve smelled (and I love it!), which is named for the blue hour, the place just between light and darkness every day, a place for contemplation. Even Ralph Lauren’s Blue scent can swirl and stir up your emotions, but neither will make you feel sad unless there’s already something you’re wrestling with, so if you just love either scent, don’t feel like it’ll turn you into a Debbie Downer every time you spray it on.

Have you ever used perfume or aromatherapy to influence your mood? Do you plan to start?

Image credit:99Perfume, used with permission