Happy Scents You Need To Try

Yellow and white background with three oranges and orange splash in the middle. At the top, from left to right, "Truth Behind Happiness Scents" is written.

In this BIT: Discover the science of smell and mood fragrances, as well as how happy scents actually boost your mood. This BIT features the best perfume scent, and what smells make you happy.

Scented candles.  Room sprays.  Perfume.  Freshly baked cookies. Spring flowers. Your favorite dinner.  All of these smells bring us a small bit of happiness, and boost our mood.  But have you ever wondered why particular smells actually make us happier?  And even more so, what smells are the best ones for boosting our mood?  We had the same question.  What we discovered about the science of smell was shocking, but in a way, made sense. 

To start things off, let’s get into the science of smell and how it can bring us small bits of happiness.  As we inhale a scent, molecules travel to the back of our nose, which holds sensory cells.  This is where we ‘sense’ what the smell is – basically here is where our brain decodes smells.  Once our brain decides what the scent is, it decides whether the smell is positive or negative.  Since the ‘smell zone’, ‘emotion zone’, and ‘memory zone’ are all near each other, our emotions play a large role in determining whether a particular scent is positive or not.

If we have good memories and positive emotions associated with a particular happy scent (like freshly baked cookies), we can feel those same emotions and reminisce good memories as we smell this scent.  Our personal lives and experiences impact how we feel when we smell a particular scent.  Some scents are commonly associated with happy memories, and therefore, many people associate certain common scents with happiness.  Ever been house shopping? Many realtors leave freshly baked cookies at open houses so potential buyers will associate the house with happy and comforting memories, and are more likely to buy it.

Some Mood-Boosting Fragrances: 

Citrus Scents

Exotic citrus scents such as lemon or orange are proven to give us a small bit of happiness.  These happy scents have tangy aromas and stimulate serotonin (a happiness hormone) in our brain. In addition, they stimulate our alertness and at the same time boost our brainpower. 

Fresh-Cut Grass

The scent produced by trees and vegetation is often associated with happy, calm memories, as being outdoors often results in the production of endorphins, which boost your mood.  When we smell fresh-cut grass, these feel-good memories rush back. That is, if you’re not allergic!


Research published in the International Journal of Neuroscience showed that the smell of peppermint oil stimulates blood flow to the brain, improves memory, calmness, and alertness. Less anxiety and more alertness can definitely lead to feelings of more happiness.

The MOST Mood-Boosting Smell

Are you curious: what is the most universally pleasing smell? A study found that cultural backgrounds don’t make a difference. The answer is vanilla! Vanilla is also one of the most popular, and best perfume scents. The same study also found a universally unpleasant scent; stinky feet! I think we can all agree on that one. 

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The next time you’re buying a candle or room spray, consider purchasing one that features one of the mood fragrances above, and get a small bit of happiness through your new happy scent. 


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For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.

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