5 Scents for Improving Productivity

published Oct 28, 2013
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(Image credit: Chris Perez)

Some may call it dubious, but I truly believe in the power of aromatherapy. Whether it’s for creating a mood with a candle over dinner, or producing a sense of calm with a little aroma-based wash in the bath, our sense of smell is an incredibly powerful tool for setting our mood…especially in our home office.

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While most people think of aromatherapy as a tool for managing stress and creating a relaxing environment, selected scents can also be used to create a more creative and productive environment.

Here are five scents to help improve productivity:

1. Cinnamon: This spice is actually a stimulant and perfect for the time of year too. It’s known for creating a sense of alertness, which can help to improve focus.

2. Mint: Even just throwing a piece of peppermint gum in your mouth can be enough to wake up the brain. The scent is known for boosting attentiveness, which makes it great for group brainstorm situations.

3. Lemon: Lemon is an incredibly strong smell, which jolts the mind into action when detected. It’s also very polarizing, so test a small amount of the scent in a space before fully committing to it.

4. Orange: Similar to lemon, this scent is bold and fresh. It’s often combined with cinnamon in many candles and essential oils, which is a nice alternative if plain orange is too overwhelming.

5. Rosemary: There’s something really beautiful about rosemary, because research report after research report shows that the oil helps people be quicker and even to some extent, smarter, in tense situations. In one study, people were able to answer questions on a test more quickly after smelling the oil.

To activate the oils in a space, try candles, oil burners or drop a few droplets of the essential oils into a bowl of hot water for groups of people. For individuals, a small candle or personal inhaler is a quick method for getting a boost.