Words: Lauren Carbran
What do botanicals make you think of? For me (at first) it was flower-printed cushions and Swiss Cheese Plants in my living room (yes, I spend way too much time on Pinterest). But there’s so much more to them. Did you know, for instance, that they’re hugely beneficial to our mental health and moods? Our sense of smell is so strongly linked to parts of the brain that hold emotion and memories, that it’s no wonder spritzing a botanical scent needs to be on your to-do list…
‘The wonderful thing about fragrance is that it has the magical ability to affect our mood,’ says fragrance historian and expert Roja Dove. ‘It’s safe to say that everybody enjoys smelling nice scents. And perfumes really do make us feel better. They lift our mood and make us feel good.’
So what are botanical scents? Well, they’re perfumes made with extracts of plants, shrubs or flowers. ‘Everybody loves the smells,’ says Roja. ‘They’re beautiful to look at and to inhale. They’re our most blatant connection to the beauty of Mother Nature. Smelling botanical fragrances can become a ritual for relaxing, just like having a glass of wine to unwind with quietly at home.’
Although botanical essential oils aren’t a cure for conditions such as anxiety and depression, they send messages to the area of the brain that controls mood, relieving some of the symptoms. Botanical scents help to comfort and relax you and can be both extremely calming and uplifting.
RE-ENERGISE YOURSELF WITH EUCALYPTUS
The smell of eucalyptus is powerful not just because it’s bold and fresh, but it also helps to boost your energy levels and minimise stress – the perfume equivalent to a morning of mindfulness. The hints of eucalyptus acorns in Calvin Klein CK One Women Eau de Parfum will help you feel refreshed and awake, while the notes of orange flower and Alaskan cedarwood transport you to the great outdoors.
REDUCE TENSION WITH ROSEMARY
When you smell rosemary, the same thing happens. You get a burst of fullness, warmth and happiness. We love inhaling the woody aromas of rosemary – and it’s known to help reduce fatigue and stress. Feel at peace by smelling The Perfume Edit Citrus Fresco for him and her, which oozes rosemary, calming lavender and lemon. It's also vegan, cruelty-free and totally recyclable. Plus, you can get it engraved with your initials, too.
CALM DOWN WITH VETIVER
If you need a quick calming fix, vetiver is your go-to. Sweet and warm, it will help you to relax, like the vetiver from Haiti in Montblanc Explorer. This adventurous scent also blends bergamot from Italy and patchouli from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi – and is also known to help relieve panic attacks.
STAY RELAXED WITH LAVENDER
Long-term relaxation is a goal, right? And as lavender is one of the most popular and highly rated essential oils for anxiety, we’re all for smelling this in fragrance. It’s thought to reduce stress levels significantly and help you sleep, too. Guerlain Mon Guerlain Eau de Toilette blends lavender, pear and vanilla for a fragrance that’s sweet and invigorating.