7 scents to add to your home office to boost productivity

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·3 min read
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The sense of smell plays a critical role, directly or indirectly, in the physiological effects of someone’s mood, stress and working capacity. It is possible to help boost your productivity and brain activity if you are using aromatherapy correctly.

If you find yourself nodding off in the middle of the day or losing steam while working, perhaps some aromatherapy might work. In this article, here are some scents that you can easily incorporate into your home office to help energise you and boost productivity at work.

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1. Rosemary

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herbs for cooking in a bowl
Fresh rosemary (Photo: Gettyimages)

Rosemary oils are found to be stimulative and “suggest the occurrence of the positive stimulatory effects of rosemary oil inhalation.” It is said to help increase alertness and in a 2018 study, rosemary is found to help boost memory and focus.

2. Lemon

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Several fresh juicy lemons on wooden background. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Several fresh juicy lemons on wooden background. (Photo: Gettyimages)

The lemon scent helps to increase focus and a Japanese study on how smells can affect typists’ accuracy concluded that those who worked in lemon-scented workplaces made 54% lesser errors. According to Natural Health Magazine, scientists have also found that “just a whiff of lemon can boost your feel-good hormones and reduce stress levels.”

3. Peppermint

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Peppermint tea with green leaves. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Peppermint tea with green leaves. (Photo: Gettyimages)

The spicy peppermint scent helps to improve your ability to concentrate and focus. It is found to boost alertness and memory compared to a ylang-ylang scent. When you find yourself constantly distracted by your surroundings, perhaps it is time to diffuse some peppermint essential oils in your home office.

4. Coffee

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Coffee. (Photo: Gettyimages)
Coffee. (Photo: Gettyimages)

While most people drink coffee for that caffeine energy boost, the coffee scent alone is said to help people perform better on analytical reasoning tasks. According to FragranceX, “the smell had a similar effect to (as) if they had ingested the coffee.”

5. Lavender

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A lavender bouquet with a black background. (Photo: Gettyimages)
A lavender bouquet with a black background. (Photo: Gettyimages)

Lavender is commonly used for relaxation and for falling asleep faster. But did you know that when "lavender essential oil [was inhaled] before doing math problems helped subjects complete the problems faster and more accurately than the control group.” The lavender scent is also said to decrease the stress hormone, cortisol, which caused us to be more irritable and less focused.

6. Sage

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A close up image of three spiritually healing smudge stick with selenite palm stone. (Photo: Gettyimages)
A close up image of three spiritually healing smudge stick with selenite palm stone. (Photo: Gettyimages)

In a study, Spanish sage essential oil is found to help enhance memory and stimulate brain function, and the scent “significantly improved immediate word recall” in the study’s participants. The robust scent of sage is also said to help reduce stress and anxiety, elevating moods, making it a great scent to have around the house.

7. Vetiver

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dried vetiver roots and vetiver essential oil in a glass vial, fragrance material
Dried vetiver roots and vetiver essential oil in a glass vial. (Photo: Gettyimages)

Inhaling vetiver scent improves alertness and brain function, helping your brain feel more awake when you are suffering through a brain fog or struggling to stay alert. A 2016 study also concluded that “the stimulating effects of vetiver essential oil might be beneficial for learning and memory processes” and can be used as a stimulant to improve task performance.

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