Scents to help you work

Everywhere you look, it seems that there is a new suggestion or idea on how to increase your productivity and efficiency at work. This isn’t surprising, since cracking the code of how to stay on top of your tasks and truly shine in your work is a goal that almost everyone shares. If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably already tried some of the most popular hacks out there. But there’s one that you probably haven’t tried yet: aromatherapy.

That’s right, essential oils and aromas aren’t just for health spas and cleaning products. Recent scientific research has demonstrated that there are some incredible psychological and physiological effects when you utilize essential oils. The benefits of aromatherapy are plentiful and even have robust neuroscientific evidence backing them up.

How do scents improve productivity?

So what makes scents so effective? It all goes back to the way your brain is structured. Your perception of smell is created in the olfactory bulb which is located above the nasal cavity and directly linked to both the hippocampus and the amygdala. These two areas of the brain are linked to memory and your emotional processing, which means when you take a big whiff of something pleasant from your past, you can almost instantly transform your mood from blah to serene.

And that’s just one of the ways you can capitalize on the unique connection between scents and the rest of your brain. Research is showing that there are a variety of ways you can utilize essential oils to increase productivity at work. Whether you have issues with your concentration, your energy levels, tension in the workplace, or your problem-solving skills, there are specific essential oils that can you can integrate into your schedule and vastly improve your work life.

For example, while everyone knows that coffee can give you an extra energy boost in the morning if you drink it, did you know diffusing the aroma of coffee into your office can improve your analytical reasoning skills? And while lemon is one of the most popular ingredients in potpourri, a recent Japanese study showed that it has hidden benefits, including reducing typing errors by up to 54%!

Check out the infographic below to find out even more specifics about the scents you can use to increase your performance at work.

Infographic: 12 scents to increase productivity

12 scents to increase your productivity


Increases alertness and improves memory.
Researchers at Northumbria University found that pupils working in a room with the aroma of rosemary tested 5-7 percent better on memory tests.

Use oils, sprays or diffuse for best results.


Improves brain function and boosts concentration.
ADHD participants who inhaled vetiver regularly experienced improved brain patterns and decreased symptoms.

Use oils, sprays or diffuse for best results.


Enhances analytical reasoning and promotes attentiveness.
Students tested in a coffee-scented environment performed better on analytical reasoning tasks.

Brew for best results.


Arouses the senses and decreases errors.
A Japanese study found that workers made 54 percent fewer typing errors when smelling lemon.

It can be brewed, diffused, sprayed or used as an oil.


Re-energizes the body and lifts the mood.
Several Thai researchers found that beta waves increased in parts of the brain that control positive emotion and activity level when sniffing jasmine.

Use oils, sprays or diffuse for best results.


Increases alertness and shortens response time.
Researchers found that exposure to citrus increased physical activity and shortened response time in test participants.

It can be brewed, diffused, sprayed or used as an oil.


Heightens attention and increases motor response.
A Wheeling Jesuit University study found that cinnamon scents improved participants’ performance on tasks that require heightened attention.

Use oils or brew for best results.


Sustains attention and enhances memory accuracy.
The Society of Cosmetic Chemists found that peppermint increased alertness and improved performance on vigilance tasks.

Use oils or brew for best results.


Fights fatigue and eases pain.
A study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine shows ginger fights fatigue and eases pain in participants.

Use oils, diffuse or brew for best results.


Elevates mood and increases alertness.
Scientists in Iran discovered that ethanolic extract in pine needles had an antidepressant effect on test rats.

Use oils, sprays or diffuse for best results.


Reduces stress and eases anxiety.
Participants in an alternative medicine study exhibited reduces anxiety and tension immediately after smelling lemongrass.

Use oils or brew for best results.


Recharges the brain and improves concentration.
Researchers at Yanamashi University found that male students who smelled lavender scents during recess were able to concentrate better later on.

Use oils, sprays or diffuse for best results.


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