Mental Wellness: Choose the Right Scent to Set You in the Right Frame of Mind

From musky cologne to apple green, the scent you chose will say a lot about you. And can deeply influence your mood.

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Did you know that scents can affect how you feel? Studies have demonstrated how a scent can affect your mood, therefore choose your personal scent carefully. When discussing the senses; sight, touch, and sound are quick to be mentioned, as they are primary for interacting in the modern world. The sense of smell helps us detect changes, avoid food that would us ill, and directly impacts the sense of taste. The nose knows, and unfortunately, the olfactory giant rarely gets the credit deserved. One of the things men and women report is important in a potential mate is that they “smell good.” And this may seem impossible to make oneself smell the ubiquitous “good,” there are a few guidelines when choosing scents that will compliment your body and set your mind set for the day. Smelling a certain really affects your sense of well-being.

Showering, personal hygiene, and wearing deodorant are non-negotiable. There are simply no good reasons to avoid any of these simple acts of self-care and they create a good foundational smell. Some men naturally smell fine with a little body wash and deodorant. Some prefer to apply their scent directly, in which case non-fragrant soap and plain deodorant would be great as the smells won’t interact with others.

Cologne can be worn by men and women and comes in different scent groups, which means they belong to different buzzwords that tell the customer what the scent should smell like. Musky scents (also called spicy scents) smell like an old man’s library; often woodsy, deep, and earthy. Musky smells often have a smoky scent to them. If it smells like someone would wear this while smoking a pipe in a leather chair, it’s probably musky.

They work well with those in conservative business clothes or rugged workwear. This look pairs with those who wear facial hair and flannel unironically. These smells work well as an “out about town” smell since it requires open air to allow the scent to bloom on your skin before it’s remarkable. This would be a good smell for a picnic or grocery shopping, not great for a one on one interview or Uber car ride.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Instagram

Scents that call themselves green or clean are light and airy, and usually smell natural like cotton or cleanser. Sometimes they smell a bit acidic or synthetic, but if they smell like freshly waxed linoleum or an apple orchard, it is a clean smell. These smells work well because they are detectable but not overpowering or strong, so often those smelling it don’t actively think about what exactly they’re smelling, just that they like it or don’t.

Green smells often rely on flowery or natural smells, so while these scents are lighter, they need a more refined look. This means suits, tailored business attire, and “on-trend” casual wear pair well with this family of scents. These scents work well with those who move a lot or as a gym scent, as it works well with sweat to cut into your body’s natural ability to turn you into an onion. These are also great nightclub scents since closed quarters and high heat shouldn’t turn the smell into something noxious. 

Photo by Živa Trajbarič on

Finally, there are citrus smells. Lemons and orange abound its citrus smells, and these work well for those men who want to smell like they’re freshly showered, as this is the standard smell for body wash. Citrus smells pair with casual men in everyday life as citrus is a bright but generally favorable smell. Because citrus is an acidic smell, it’s best to avoid strenuous work or gym exercise if you’re a citrus scent person. These scents are perfect for a morning class, your lounging scent (the scent you spray when you get into comfy clothes and turn Netflix on), and first dates.

Photo by Ryan Baker on

While most scents fall into the above three categories, there are variations and sub-genres of smells. Utilizing the knowledge of the above three, you should be able to gauge which family might best suit you. Remember, each smell is different once it activates on your skin, so the best way to figure out the best scent for you is to try them out. Go to your local perfumery or counter and spray some on your skin. Walk around for a bit and check the smell after your body has started “working” on it. Never spray and immediately smell, you’ll only smell alcohol before it can dissipate, leaving the true scent. 

Do you have a favorite scent? How does it affect you? When do you wear it? Leave a comment and share it with us.

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