What Are the Best Scents for Productivity? The Science Behind the Top 12 Smells for Getting Things Done

You’ve got a work project looming over your head but can't find the motivation to knock it out.

Maybe you need the inspiration to clean out the kids’ closets for the neighborhood garage sale. 

Or you’re having to dig way too deep to find the energy to fold the latest round of laundry.

It’s time to let aromatherapy boost your productivity! 

That’s right, there are actually scents that can help you accomplish more each day.

“But, Tiffany,” you say, “How am I supposed to know what scents increase productivity?”

As always, I’ve got your back. 

Here’s my list of the 12 best scents for productivity that will help you get off your sweet patootie, get more done — and make your friends think you’ve finally pulled your crap together.


Table of Contents


What’s the Connection Between Aromatherapy and Productivity?

Believe it or not, aromatherapy can have a huge impact on your productivity. 

But you don't have to take my word for it. Science has proven that scent can affect … 

  • Your moods
  • The way your bodies functions; and 
  • Your behavior 

… all of which have a direct impact on your productivity. 


How Can You Utilize Scent to Boost Your Productivity?

Maybe you have to power through writing a medical paper or need a little something extra to pump up your morning routine before heading to work. 

You can easily use aromatherapy scents to boost your productivity and train your mind to correlate specific scents with a specific mindset. 

Here’s how it works. Aromatherapy involves using the scents of … 

  • Plants
  • Flowers
  • Herbs; and 
  • Other natural extracts

… to help energize, calm, or focus your body and mind. The key is knowing the best scents to choose for your unique situation or mood. 

Think of it this way. If Pavlov can train dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, then you can train your mind to kick it into high gear when you smell citrus (or lemon, or lavender, or peppermint, or… you get the idea).

These days, there are lots of ways to use scent to boost your productivity, like:

Let’s take an up-close look at 12 scents you’ll want to keep handy for those times when your motivation needs a little kick in the pants. 


The 12 Best Scents for Productivity at Home or Work


#1: Lemongrass

The smell of lemongrass might make you feel like you’re indulging in a day of pampering at the spa, but lemongrass can be a fantastic addition to your productivity arsenal. 

One study showed that lemongrass has been proven to help ease stress and lower anxiety. 

Lemongrass may also reduce blood pressure and can have a harmonizing effect on the nervous system as a whole.


    #2: Peppermint

    If you’re like most people, just popping a stick of peppermint gum in your mouth can be enough to awaken your weary brain.

    While most people know the scent of peppermint can be incredibly energizing, they may not be aware that the smell of peppermint has also been scientifically proven to: 

    Whether you need a boost for cleaning the house or want to prep your mind for a brainstorming session at the office, peppermint is a great go-to smell for productivity.


    #3: Coffee

    According to the National Coffee Association, 66% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis

    A nice, strong cup of Joe in the morning can up your alertness and get you ready to tackle the day. 

    But did you know that just getting a whiff of coffee can have a similar impact?

    It's true! 

    Research reveals that just the aroma of coffee increases physiological arousal levels and results in improved performance on analytical reasoning tasks.


    #4: Lemon

    You've probably enjoyed a scoop of lemon gelato or added a splash of lemonade to your iced tea (thanks, Arnold Palmer). 

    Did you know that this versatile citrus fruit also ranks as one of the best scents for productivity?

    A Japanese fragrance production, Takasago, found that office workers at computers made 54% fewer typing errors when they worked in a lemony scented environment. 

    Personnel Today also reports that aromatherapy scents are being used in workplaces across the globe to help improve employee productivity and performance. 

    And the first scent many companies choose to greet their employees with every morning? You guessed it — lemon!


    best scents for productivity


    #5: Vetiver

    It's been a rough day at work. Or maybe a day with the kiddos has you so flustered you can’t even gather your thoughts to throw dinner together. 

    Vetiver to the rescue!

    In a 2016 study, researchers found that simply inhaling vetiver essential oil increased alertness and brain function. Vetiver can help your brain feel more awake, making it much easier to focus on a task or remain alert to what’s happening around you.

    Vetiver is also used as a treatment for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). The study mentioned above revealed that vetiver essential oil can calm mental fatigue and help people with ADHD to filter out other sensory distractions and focus on a task.

    With vetiver’s earthy scent, you can put procrastination and distraction on hold.  It can help you refocus, quit worrying about everything you need to get done — and start actually being productive!


    #6: Ginger

    Ginger is a scent that can increase productivity by helping you win the fight against fatigue.

    A study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that ginger helps increase blood flow to the brain.

    This great-smelling remedy is perfect for helping you fight off a headache or power through to make a deadline.




    #7: Citrus

    Another one of the very best scents for productivity is citrus, or a blend of fruits, such as: 

    • Grapefruit
    • Lemon
    • Lime
    • Mandarin; and 
    • Sweet orange

    Its bright, crisp aroma helps keep you wide-eyed and alert, shortens response times. and decreases negative emotions.

    Now, before you try toting around a hunk of grapefruit or slice of lime, you’ll want to check out my Aromasthesia Sugammadex candle.

    In this amazing candle, I’ve harnessed all the energizing benefits of citrus — plus a smidgen of vanilla, because everything smells better with vanilla — to give you the motivation you need to:

    • Clean your house from top to bottom
    • Head to the gym; or
    • Finish the project you've been procrastinating for the past month


    #8: Sandalwood

    Sandalwood’s distinct earthy, woody scent is both exotic and unique. 

    And its intoxicating, musky undertones can work wonders when it comes to increasing productivity. 

    How? One clinical study revealed a correlation between the scent of sandalwood and an increase in attention span. 

    Sandalwood’s appealing and versatile fragrance is also famous for: 

    • Calming your frenzied, distracted mind 
    • Promoting mental clarity
    • Easing weariness 
    • Helping your body relax; and
    • Soothing your stressed-out nerves 




    #9: Grapefruit

    ​​A study published in the Journal of Japanese Pharmacology took a look at the effects of the scent of grapefruit on sympathetic brain activity. 

    Your sympathetic nervous system connects your internal organs to your brain. When it gets stimulated, it prepares your body for stress by upping your heart rate, increasing the blood flow to your muscles, and decreasing blood flow to your skin.

    The researchers found that grapefruit oil (along with other essential oils like fennel, peppermint, and rose) has a significant effect on relaxation and brain activity. So much so that simply inhaling these scents led to a 1.5- to 2.5-fold increase in the subjects’ relative sympathetic activity — reducing their feelings of stress and improving their moods. And they were also found to have a measurable reduction in systolic blood pressure. 

    Great news! It just so happens that my Dexmedtomidine candle — aka “Dex,” for short — focuses on the scent of pink grapefruit (with a little bergamot and a hint of clove thrown in for good measure). 

    Its energizing, fruity scent helps to get your thoughts smoothed out, so you can get back to focusing on the important things in life.




    #10: Jasmine

    Jasmine. The very word evokes images of fragrant white flowers blooming in an exotic bamboo forest. 

    The scent of jasmine has been shown to re-energize and stimulate the nervous system. Plus, it promotes a positive mood and a sense of security and well-being. 

    If you need to stay awake and alert, just sniff its bright aroma throughout the day for an instant refresher. 

    My Alprazolam candle makes it super simple to refresh your brain with jasmine anytime! With its sweet smell of jasmine flowers and lucky bamboo, this unique fragrance formula is sure to bring peace and focus to the chaos of even the craziest of days.

    And like all of my Aromasthesia medical candles, Alprazolam is highly scented and crafted with the finest quality of essential and fragrance oils and soy wax. 


    #11: Lavender

    Another one of the best scents for productivity is lavender.

    While it's generally recognized for its sedative effect, studies have proven that lavender enhances concentration by recharging your brain during times of rest and relaxation. 

    So, in essence, using lavender at bedtime can help you set the stage for high productivity the following day.

    Lavender also packs a powerful punch against stress. Research from Japan’s Meikai University reported that the scent of lavender noticeably decreases the hormone, cortisol, which contributes to the level of stress in the body.

    And a study by the International Journal of Neuroscience found that inhaling lavender essential oil before completing math problems helped individuals complete the problems faster and with a greater level of accuracy than the control group. 

    Any scent that can boost your ability to do math is a winner in my book!


    #12: Rosemary

    Rosemary’s sweet earthiness is good for much more than just adding pizzazz to your favorite focaccia. 

    Rosemary is yet another scent that’s been proven to improve brain power and productivity. 

    A clinical trial revealed that inhaling rosemary produced a significant boost in performance of the overall quality of memory. 

    And it’s also effective when it comes to: 

    • Improving cognitive function
    • Enhancing working memory; and 
    • Putting you in a better mood


    best scents for productivity


    Ready to Boost Your Productivity? Shop Aromasthesia’s Invigorating Scents

    Whether you’re looking for the perfect scent for a productivity boost or something to help you relax in the evening, you'll find exactly what you're looking for with Aromasthesia.

    If you’re like me, you live for luxury. That’s why we offer a premium line of luxurious candles handcrafted with only the highest quality ingredients. 

    Our aromatherapy line of candles is free of … 

    • Parabens 
    • Phthalates; and 
    • Paraffin

    … meaning you can relax knowing you’re breathing in the purest scents on the market. 

    Aromasthesia candles are designed to create the perfect ambiance.

    Our premium candles are triple-scented, so you can enjoy your favorite fragrance right down to the very last drop of wax. 

    Each candle is made in the U.S.A. from … 

    • Premium soy wax; and
    • The highest quality essential oils and natural fragrances 

    And we donate a portion of the sale of each candle to The Family Place

    Whether you’re looking for a scent to encourage: 

    • Productivity 
    • Relaxation
    • Energy
    • Tranquility
    • Obtundity
    • Homeostasis
    • Serenity; or 
    • Your daily dose of quietude

    … you’ll find just what you need at Aromasthesia.


    best scents for productivity