Zen in a Bottle: 12 Fragrances to Help You Relax

While I've always had a lot of respect for those who have just one signature fragrance, I simply cannot relate. Anyone who knows me well (or is at least in eyeshot of my desk) is aware of my perfume-hoarding habit. I can't even rule out the idea of eventually becoming a perfumer one day—I'm that fascinated by the magic of scent. And I love having countless bottles on hand, because I know the impact sniffing different fragrance notes can have on my mood.

This isn't just me justifying my borderline-embarrassing collection—it's science. Aromatherapy is powerful stuff, and while we tend to associate it with diffusers, essential oils, and synth-y spa music, why not categorize regular perfumes in this way? If a lavender pillow spray can make me pass out in five minutes flat, why can't a perfume that features lavender as a main component?

With this in mind, we rounded up 12 gorgeous fragrances that happen to tout notes associated with stress relief and relaxation, as backed by research. Keep reading to rethink your own perfume collection.


Do you have a favorite scent for relaxing? Tell us about it in the comments below!