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We know that scents are connected to emotions; they can evoke memories, change our mood or simply help us feel more relaxed. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we look at some of the scents known for their aphrodisiac properties to get us in the mood for some lockdown love…
Probably one of the most versatile and popular scents used in aromatherapy, lavender oil is distilled mostly from the variety Lavandula angustifolia. One of the many reasons for this plant’s popularity is its stress and anxiety reducing properties. It is also proven to promote relaxation, which in turn has shown to have aphrodisiac effects.
Widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, sandalwood oil is extracted from the timber and roots of the tree Santalum album. Native to India and Southeast Asia, this small tropical tree boasts healing properties and promotes relaxation. Studies have shown that when its fragrance is absorbed, it can also improve mood and increase sex drive.
Associated with evoking feelings of euphoria, this wonderful fragrance is said to ease symptoms of depression. Taken from the yellow star-shaped flower of Cananga odorata which is indigenous to India, Indochina, and Malaysia, ylang ylang oil is an intense mood-booster and is often used to reduce sexual anxiety whilst increasing desire. Win win!
Grab a gardenia groove which is created using an ylang ylang, musk and sandalwood base.
Extracted from the rinds of the yellow citrus fruit of Citrus bergamia, or bergamot citrus tree, this well known fragrance is widely used to elevate mood and decrease stress. Earl Grey tea lovers will recognise this fragrance as it is used in the blend of this famous tea. It is also thought to increase confidence (inside and out of the bedroom).
With its earthy, woody aroma, patchouli is derived from the leaves of the patchouli plant. Pogostemon cablin, a member of the mint family, is a perennial herb with delicate and fragrant pink flowers. Its properties are thought to increase energy and decrease inhibitions.
Often considered as a rather ‘retro’ scent, it is making a come-back! We love it for its ability to combine easily with other lighter fragrances. It’s also used frequently in yoga and tai chi promoting calm and feelings of tranquillity.
Which candles? Try patchouli, sandalwood & amber which combines two aphrodisiac oils.
An uplifting scent, orange is often mixed with sweet scents like ylang ylang to create a perfect blend. It acts as an enhancer for other scents, particularly lavender, and is widely considered for its aphrodisiac properties.
How about pink grapefruit & basil created with an orange top scent?
Best candle: peony blossom, which uses a jasmine mid-scent to create its beautiful aroma.
Read next: what are the benefits of sandalwood?