Need to chill out? Your nose knows best

FORGET diamonds, a girl’s cheer-making best friend is none other than the humble lemon. Research from Radox has revealed 34% of women turn to a citrusy whiff when in need of a pick-me-up.

Need to chill out? Your nose knows best

But lemons are not the only smell with the power to change our disposition. Our olfactory glands are 10,000 times more sensitive than our sense of taste, so many aromas — even unassuming ones – can have an instant impact on our mood. So, if you want to...

Feel happy

Lemons have some impressive contenders when it comes to making you feel cheerful. The tropical jasmine flower might be diminutive, but its wonderfully floral fragrance is so powerful at stimulating feelings of optimism, it’s often used as an anti-depressant.

And what about that universally-loved aroma of freshly-cut grass? Researchers in Australia have discovered that this verdant smell not only makes you happier, it can also slow mental decline in old age. They’ve even created a perfume that mimics the smell of a cut lawn for those who can’t be bothered to get the mower out.

Calm down

Lavender is well known for its sleep-inducing properties, but it can also be an effective stress-buster. So, if you’re having a particularly busy day at work, this lilac sprig will do wonders to calm you down.

Oranges are also known for their calming effects; in fact, in a recent study by Brazilian scientists, participants who were asked to sniff orange essential oils before an exam were shown to be a lot less anxious, and the feeling of relaxation even remained after the exam (not really surprising).

Boost your libido

Step aside oysters and champagne; when it comes to aphrodisiacs, there’s an unexpected list of smells proven to make you feel sexy.

The most surprising smelly turn-on for women is talcum powder, which has been seen to invigorate vaginal blood flow. The scent of cucumber also has a similar effect.

Men should try not to be too over-zealous when it comes to spritzing themselves; cologne is apparently a turn-off for females.

And for men wanting to get in the mood? One study says they’re aroused by the smell of pumpkins, while a crowd-pleaser for both sexes is the smell of liquorice.

Become more energised

We’ve all experienced that mid-afternoon lull, so it’s not surprising that the one factor both sexes agreed on in the Radox survey was that they are most in need of a mood boost at 3.56pm. Try peppermint tea.

An American study showed peppermint inhalers gave university basketball players more energy, speed and motivation. Reebok even got on the bandwagon and released a peppermint-scented range of sports bras (yes, really).

Feel more brainy

Spices are known for stimulating endorphins when eaten, but the heady smell of cinnamon can help with cognitive processes including your memory, motor responses and ability to concentrate. Alertness and memory can also be improved by rosemary, so make sure to turn to this humble herb when in need of an extra boost of brainpower.

More in this section


Join us for our International Women’s Day virtual lunchtime celebration on Monday, March 8 from 1pm

Home Delivery


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.