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Article: Harnessing Aromatherapy: 5 Fragrances to Alleviate Stress

Harnessing Aromatherapy: 5 Fragrances to Alleviate Stress

Harnessing Aromatherapy: 5 Fragrances to Alleviate Stress

In a world characterized by relentless schedules and constant demands, stress has become an ever-present companion in our lives. Thankfully, nature has provided us with a powerful tool to combat stress: the aromatic compounds found in various plants and flowers. Aromatherapy, the practice of using scents to enhance physical and emotional well-being, has gained traction as an effective stress-relief technique. While more is needed than fragrances to maintain low stress levels, scent can help alleviate some of the tension brought on by stress and can make a great accompaniment to other ways of relaxation. 


Lavender's reputation as a stress-relieving fragrance is backed by science. Lavender essential oil contains a blend of compounds, most notably linalool and linalyl acetate, that have been found to have significant effects on the nervous system. These compounds are capable of interacting with neurotransmitters in the brain, particularly gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is responsible for inhibitory responses that induce relaxation and reduce neural excitement. By affecting GABA receptors, lavender essential oil can create a sense of tranquility and calm, making it an excellent choice for stress alleviation.

To properly enjoy the benefits of lavender

Diffusion: Use an essential oil diffuser to disperse the scent throughout your living space. This method allows you to benefit from the fragrance's stress-relieving effects while going about your daily activities.

Bath Soak: Incorporate a few drops of lavender essential oil into your bathwater. The warm water combined with the soothing aroma can help you unwind and release tension.

Pillow Mist: Create a pillow mist by diluting lavender essential oil in water and lightly spritzing your pillow before sleep. This practice can promote a restful night's sleep and reduce nighttime stress.

relaxing lavender


Chamomile, often praised for its calming tea, also offers its stress-relieving benefits through its essential oil. The fragrant compounds in chamomile, including bisabolol and chamazulene, contribute to its anxiolytic effects. Bisabolol, for instance, has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and relaxation-inducing properties. These compounds work synergistically to create a scent that can ease tension and promote relaxation.

To properly enjoy the benefits of chamomile

Diffusion: Employ a diffuser to disperse the chamomile aroma throughout your surroundings. Inhaling the gentle fragrance can help soothe nerves and create a peaceful atmosphere.

Massage Oil: Mix a few drops of chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba. Use this blend for a stress-relieving massage, focusing on tense areas such as the neck and shoulders.

Inhalation: Apply a drop or two of chamomile essential oil to a handkerchief or tissue. Whenever stress strikes, inhale deeply from the cloth to experience rapid relaxation.


Bergamot, a citrus fruit with a distinctive aroma, is renowned for its uplifting and stress-reducing effects. This fragrance contains compounds such as limonene and linalool, which contribute to its potential to lower cortisol levels – the body's primary stress hormone – and enhance mood. Research suggests that inhaling the scent of bergamot can have a positive impact on emotions, making it an excellent tool for managing stress.

To properly enjoy the benefits of bergamot

Diffusion: Use a diffuser to disperse the invigorating scent of bergamot in your environment. This practice can lift your spirits and create a more optimistic atmosphere.

Massage Blend: Dilute a few drops of bergamot essential oil in a carrier oil of your choice. Massage this blend onto your skin to experience both the aroma and the relaxation-inducing effects on your muscles.

Steam Inhalation: Add a drop of bergamot oil to a bowl of hot water. Cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl, and inhale deeply. The steam infused with bergamot can quickly provide stress relief.


The esquisite aroma of rose has a timeless reputation for its emotionally soothing properties. The essential oil extracted from rose petals contains compounds like geraniol and citronellol, which contribute to its calming effects. These compounds have been linked to relaxation and balance of emotional states, making rose essential oil a valuable tool for stress management.

To properly enjoy the benefits of rose

Diffusion: Utilize a diffuser to infuse your surroundings with the gentle fragrance of rose. This practice can create a serene environment and enhance your emotional well-being.

Massage Oil: Blend a few drops of rose essential oil with a carrier oil. Use this blend for a luxurious and stress-relieving massage, allowing the aroma to soothe both your body and mind.

DIY Room Spray: Mix rose essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Spritz this blend around your living space to refresh the atmosphere and promote relaxation.


Frankincense, a resin with a deeply rich scent, has been treasured for its spiritual and therapeutic qualities for centuries. The essential oil derived from frankincense contains compounds like alpha-pinene and limonene, which contribute to its potential stress-relieving effects. The act of inhaling frankincense's fragrance has been shown to slow down the breath and induce a sense of calm, making it a valuable addition to stress management routines.

To properly enjoy the benefits of frankincense

Diffusion: Diffuse frankincense essential oil to create an environment conducive to meditation and relaxation. This practice can aid in centering your thoughts and finding inner peace.

Massage Ritual: Dilute a few drops of frankincense essential oil in a carrier oil, then use it for a self-massage. The combination of touch and aroma can provide profound stress relief.

Personalized Blend: Experiment with combining frankincense with other essential oils like lavender or bergamot. This allows you to create a customized aroma that resonates with you personally, enhancing the overall experience.


Incorporating Fragrances into Your Routine

To fully harness the benefits of these stress-relieving fragrances, consider incorporating them into various aspects of your daily routine. Begin your mornings with the energizing scent of bergamot or rose to set a positive tone for the day. Keep a portable roller bottle of chamomile or frankincense blend in your bag for moments when stress strikes. In the evenings, wind down with a calming bath infused with lavender or chamomile essential oils. Establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual with these fragrances can also improve the quality of your sleep and overall well-being.


Conrad, P., & Adams, C. (2012). The effects of clinical aromatherapy for anxiety and depression in the high risk postpartum woman - a pilot study. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 18(3), 164-168.

Amsterdam, J. D., & Li, Y. (2009). Soothing the feelings: randomized controlled trial of an herbal preparation to treat moderate to severe anxiety in psychiatrically ill patients. The Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology, 29(4), 378-382.

 Watanabe, E., Kuchta, K., Kimura, M., Rauwald, H. W., & Kamei, T. (2014). Effects of bergamot (Citrus bergamia (Risso) Wright & Arn.) essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity, and salivary cortisol levels in 41 healthy females. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 77, 113-121.

 Heidari, M., & Hedayati, M. (2013). Effects of aromatherapy with Rosa damascena on nulliparous women’s pain and anxiety of labor during first stage of labor. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 15(4), 306-309.

Siddique, M., Sultana, M., Jahan, I., & Jahangir, T. (2013). Frankincense essential oil and its impact on pain and anxiety in arthritis patients: a randomized placebo controlled clinical trial. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 19(4), 329-333.

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