Functional Fragrance is a hot topic right now, but perfume has long been associated with self-care. The practice of using aromas to enhance mood and improve health and wellbeing dates back to 3500 years BC when aromatics were used for religious rituals and medicine.
But the term “aromatherapy” only came into use many years later in 1935, when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse claimed that he had managed to treat a burn on his skin with the aid of lavender essential oil.
Back to modern-day and perfume is being used to aid us once again but this time we are treating our minds and souls instead of ailments and health conditions.
How Functional Fragrance is helping us deal with Stress
Stress now permeates through every aspect of our life. According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to all the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. And more than 75 percent of all doctor-related visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. And it isn’t slowing. Ours and future generations will likely experience more stress and anxiety than any generation previously.
The Harvard Business Review recently published findings of a study on mental health in the workplace that paints a bleak picture of anxiety among young people. In a survey, half of millennials (those between 24 and 39) said they’d left a job at least partly for mental health reasons and for Gen Z-(18 and 23-year-olds) the percentage jumps to 75, compared with just 20 per cent among the general population.
And this has only been made worse in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many of us still working from home or isolating, the need to create a safe space
for our emotions has become crucial. For many, the home/safe space and workspace have become intertwined and as a result, the ability to unwind and remove ourselves from the stress of the day is becoming harder. As a result, we are turning towards ever more inventive and diverse ways to relieve stress and deal with the challenges of our modern lives.
The Science behind Functional Fragrance
So it’s no coincidence that wearing your favourite perfume, lighting a candle or taking a long bath with your favourite pampering treats makes you feel good. Perfume has the power to manipulate, alter and improve our mood.
In a recent study, it was found that scent affects mood, concentration, memory recall and emotion. In fact, 75% of all emotions generated every day are due to smell, and because of this, we are 100 times more likely to remember something we smell over something we see, hear or touch.
Scent triggers reactions in the body’s limbic system, the part of the brain involved in our behavioural and emotional responses, where feelings, moods, emotions and memory are processed. As a result, we are seeing a definite ground surge towards functional fragrances that not only smell good but also do us good.
Mood Boosting Functional Fragrances
Many of these functional fragrances are inspired by essential oils so let’s take a quick look at some of the fragrances that help boost our moods?
We take a look at just 2 or 3 of our favourites:
We will start with an oldie but a goodie. Lavender is well known for its ability to create a relaxing atmosphere and is probably the reason why it is often one of the most sought-after scents for bath-related products.
More than simply generating a serene state of mind, lavender can reduce anxiety by affecting the body’s fight-or-flight response. And there is a level of science to back this up. Experiments suggest that Lavender possesses anxiolytic, sedative, analgesic, anticonvulsive and neuroprotective properties.
Chamomile Essential Oil
Aside from making a very pleasant tea, chamomile has been described in medical books for many years for its digestive, anti-inflammatory powers. Chamomile essential oil has some solid research behind it and over the years has been used for a variety of ailments and conditions.
Its herbal, sweet and fresh scent but is also reassuringly comforting in its nature.
Not one you might have heard of but is growing in popularity is Clary sage; a flowering herb native to the Mediterranean. This essential oil is extracted from the leaves and buds of the plant and has a clean, refreshing scent that you can use as a skin balm or gently inhale as part of an aromatherapy treatment. The likes of Decleor and Clarins are big fans of this cooling and soothing scent.
Functional Fragrance : Our favourite Mood-Boosting Products
So we thought we should take a look at some of the best products on the market which are helping us guide and lift our moods.
Here are our top mood-boosting favourites!
Best for Sleep
The Nue Co., has created a brilliant range of sleep products helping you to drift off to some wonderfully woozy dreams. Our favourite is the sleep drops which has notes of valerian root + passionflower to induce a sense of tranquillity.
Best for De-Stressing
NEOM Organics, have created some amazingly uplifting and relaxing candle fragrances that have been a big hit worldwide. Our favourite includes Lavender, Brazilian rosewood and jasmine which not only makes your house smell wonderful but can also help you relax and unwind.
Best for Mood-Lifting
The smell of self-care is in the air and one of our favourite self-care personal care products comes from Lab Tonica whose has taken functional fragrance to the limit, creating products to match your mood. From ‘Saucy’, a blend of jasmine, sandalwood, rose, patchouli and black pepper to get you in the mood to ‘Fend’, which is intended to help boost and strengthen your immune system.
Best for Home Fragrancing
Even NEST, the chic New York home fragrance name now has a wellness capsule collection harnessing the therapeutic benefits of botanicals. Wild mint and eucalyptus help clear the mind and awaken the senses; whilst driftwood and chamomile help prepare your body and mind for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Traditionally this ‘fragrance as self-care and mood catalyst’ realm has been dominated by aromatherapy and spa brands. But now mainstream brands are capitalising on this trend and using these mood-enhancing benefits as part of their product benefits.
Whether you are looking to bring calm to a busy world, improve your sleep or create a space where you can focus there is a functional feel-good fragrance out there for you.
Want to learn more about Functional Fragrance?
Contact our team or take a look at our latest fragrance trend inspired ebook
Carvansons is a world-leading creator and compounder of bulk fragrance oil. Our fragrances are used globally in the cosmetic, personal care, household and industrial manufacturing sectors. As a global fragrance manufacturer we create high-quality fragrance oil compounds, aromas and perfumes with a worldwide presence.
We work with many different companies throughout the world, which include both big brand names and smaller, niche industries. Whether your product is highly functional or beautifully indulgent we can create a fragrance that benefits and complements your product, brand and target audience. Contact us now.