12 Calming scents to help you relax

12 Calming scents to help you relax

27 July 2021, 00:00 Useful

We could all use a little more calm in our lives right now, and aromatherapy can be a great way to relax–especially when coupled with other de-stressing techniques. Whether you’re a newcomer to aromatherapy or an expert looking to expand your fragrance collection, we’ve compiled a list of the 12 best calming scents below. Then, we delve into aromatherapy techniques that you can use to destress, including running a diffuser and lighting candles.


You’ve probably cooked with rosemary before, but you should also consider including this fragrance as part of your aromatherapy routine. Rosemary has both energizing and relaxing effects, so if you need to improve your concentration and reduce stress while working on a major project, you should definitely try it out.


Lavender is one of the most popular scents for relaxing and falling asleep, and with good reason. This fragrance oil has many calming properties, and it can help release tension, soothe racing thoughts and help you unwind. Whether you’re stressed from work or just want to supercharge a relaxing evening, lavender will help you calm down and unwind in no time.


This sweet, rich floral scent is known for its calming properties. If you’re tired and stressed, this fragrance oil will help soothe your tension and promote relaxation. Jasmine is not only available as an oil but can also be found in many candles, perfumes, soaps and even alcohol and desserts.


If you prefer a fresh scent that transports you outside, sea breeze is an excellent choice that will also help you calm down after a stressful day. After all, we can’t think of anything more relaxing than sitting next to the ocean with a tropical drink in our hand. As an added bonus, you won’t have to clean sand out of every crevice at the end of the day.

Clary Sage

Clary sage is the more colorful, flowering cousin of the common cooking herb often found in grocery stores. While it does have a similar fragrance profile to regular sage, clary sage is a bit softer and sweeter and doesn’t hit your nose quite as hard. If you’re looking for a savory herbal scent to help you relax, try experimenting with clary sage.

Ylang Ylang

While you might not be familiar with the name of this plant, you’ve probably smelled it before. It’s a fairly common ingredient in candles, perfumes, lotions and soaps. Ylang ylang has a heavy, sweet smell, sometimes with notes of fruits and rubber. Ylang ylang can help calm you down after a stressful day and soothe negative moods.


While citrus is more well-known for increasing alertness and energy, it can also help you calm down after a hard day. Lemon has also been paired with other scents on this list to add a note of brightness and alleviate some fragrances that may be too rich or sweet on their own. If you’re skeptical of using lemon to relax, all we can say is don’t knock it until you try it.


While this spicy fragrance is a staple of winter holiday fragrances, we think it should be used year round due to its many beneficial properties. Cinnamon’s effect is warming and invigorating, yet calming. Pair it with vanilla to make your house smell like sweet cookies, or use it to add a scent of spice to some of the other options on this list.

Sweet Marjoram

Not to be confused with margarine, this woody, spicy fragrance smells like a less pungent version of oregano. While better known as a cooking spice, in oil form, marjoram has calming properties that will help you to relax. Sweet marjoram creates a warm, woody scent that is soothing but not overpowering for gentle herbal aromatherapy


If you’re looking for an invigorating yet calming scent, but don’t want a citrus fragrance, then peppermint is a good alternative. The minty nature of this refreshing scent will gently invigorate you while soothing away tension. If you’ve never explored peppermint beyond the occasional cup of peppermint tea, you’re really missing out.

Rose and Geranium

While these two flowers look very different, they have similar scent profiles, which is why we’re listing them together. Unlike other floral scents, which can be heavy and cloying, rose and geranium have a sweet, refreshing scent that’s very distinct from other florals. They can help reduce stress and anxiety, helping you to relax and calm down.

Sweet Basil

Basil isn’t just good for making pesto. In oil form, sweet basil can also help you relax and destress. If you find regular basil too aromatic for your tastes, seek out the sweet basil version, which has a bit of a lighter scent. Basil goes especially well with lemon for a clarifying yet relaxing combo fragrance.