Functional Fragrance is a hot topic right now; Fragrance that not only smells good but does good!

But, what is Functional Fragrance?

Perfume has long been associated with self-care. The use of aromas to enhance mood and improve health and wellbeing dates back to 3500 years BC.  Religious rituals and medicine regularly relied upon the properties of these aromatic scents.

But the term “aromatherapy” only came into use many years later in 1935, when French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse claimed that he had managed to treat a burn on his skin with the aid of lavender essential oil.

Back to modern day, and perfume is once again being used to care for our needs. But this time we are treating our minds and souls instead of ailments and health conditions.

functional fragrance

How Functional Fragrance is helping us deal with Stress

Stress now permeates every aspect of our life. According to the American Psychological Association, six of the main causes of death are stress-related. These include heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. And more than 75 per cent of all doctor-related visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints. And it isn’t slowing. Ours and future generations will likely experience more stress and anxiety than any generation previously.

Fragrance for Mental Health

The Harvard Business Review recently published findings of a study on mental health in the workplace that paints a bleak picture of anxiety among young people. According to this survey, half of millennials (those between 24 and 39) said they’d left a job at least partly for mental health reasons and for Gen Z-(18 and 23-year-olds) the percentage jumps to 75, compared with just 20 per cent among the general population. This has only been made worse in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With many of us still working from home or isolating, the need to create a safe space for our emotions has become crucial. For many, the home/safe space and workspace have become intertwined and as a result, the ability to unwind and remove ourselves from the stress of the day is becoming harder.   As a result, we are turning towards ever more inventive and diverse ways to relieve stress and deal with the challenges of our modern lives.

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The Science behind Functional Fragrance

feel-good fragrance

So it’s no coincidence that wearing your favourite perfume, lighting a candle or taking a long bath with your favourite pampering treats makes you feel good. Perfume has the power to manipulate, alter and improve our mood.

In a recent study, it was found that scent affects mood, concentration, memory recall and emotion. In fact, 75% of all emotions generated every day are due to smell, and because of this, we are 100 times more likely to remember something we smell compared with something we see, hear or touch.

Furthermore, scent triggers reactions in the body’s limbic system, the part of the brain involved in our behavioural and emotional responses. In the limbic system, we process feelings, moods, emotions and memory. As a result, we are seeing a definite ground surge towards functional fragrances that not only smell good but also do us good.

Mood-Boosting Functional Fragrances

Many functional fragrances take their inspiration from essential oils. So let’s take a quick look at some of the fragrances that help boost our mood?

We take a look at just 2 or 3 of our favourites:Lavender


First, let’s start with an oldie but a goodie. Lavender is the king of the well-being scents, helping to create a relaxing atmosphere. It is one of the most sought-after scents for bath-related products.

More than simply generating a serene state of mind, lavender can reduce anxiety by affecting the body’s fight-or-flight response. And there is a level of science to back this up. Experiments suggest that Lavender possesses anxiolytic, sedative, analgesic, anticonvulsive and neuroprotective properties.

Chamomile Essential Oil

The digestive and anti-inflammatory powers of chamomile are well known. Consequently, this essential oil has been used for a variety of ailments and conditions for many years. It is herbal, sweet and fresh scent but is also reassuringly comforting in its nature.

Clary Sage

Clary Sage

Finally, not one you might have heard of but is growing in popularity is Clary sage; a flowering herb native to the Mediterranean. Extracted from the leaves and buds, the essential oil has a clean, refreshing scent that you can use as a skin balm or gently inhale as part of an aromatherapy treatment. The likes of Decleor and Clarins are big fans of this cooling and soothing scent.

Functional Fragrance: Our favourite Mood-Boosting Products

Let’s take a look at some of the best products on the market which are helping us guide and lift our moods.

Here are our top mood-boosting favourites!

Best for Sleep

The Nue Co. has created a brilliant range of sleep products, helping you to drift off. Our favourite is the sleep drops which have notes of valerian root and passionflower to induce a sense of tranquillity.

Best for De-Stressing

NEOM Organics, have created some amazingly uplifting and relaxing candle fragrances that have been a big hit worldwide. Our favourite includes Lavender, Brazilian rosewood and jasmine.  These not only make your house smell wonderful but can also help you relax and unwind.

Best for Mood-Lifting

The smell of self-care is in the air and one of our favourite self-care personal care products comes from Lab Tonica. They have taken functional fragrance to the limit, creating products to match your mood. ‘Saucy’ is a blend of jasmine, sandalwood, rose, patchouli and black pepper to get you in the mood. Whereas ‘Fend’ helps boost and strengthen your immune system.

Best for Home Fragrancing 

Even NEST, the chic New York home fragrance name now has a wellness capsule collection harnessing the therapeutic benefits of botanicals. Wild mint and eucalyptus help clear the mind and awaken the senses; whilst driftwood and chamomile help prepare your body and mind for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Fragrance as self-care and mood booster

Traditionally this realm has been dominated by aromatherapy and spa brands. But now mainstream brands are capitalising on this trend and using these mood-enhancing benefits as part of their product benefits.

In addition, if you are looking to bring calm to a busy world or improve your sleep, there is a functional feel-good fragrance for you.

Want to learn more about Functional Fragrance?

Contact our team or take a look at our latest fragrance trend-inspired ebook

About Carvansons

Carvansons is a world-leading creator and compounder of bulk fragrance oil used globally in the cosmetic, personal care, household and industrial manufacturing sectors. As a global fragrance manufacturer, we create high-quality fragrance oil compounds, aromas and perfumes with a worldwide presence.

We work with many different companies throughout the world, which include both big brand names and smaller, niche industries. Whether your product is highly functional or beautifully indulgent, we can find a fragrance that suits.  We create fragrances that benefit and complement your product, brand and target audience. Contact us now.

*Please note:  The perfumes and products mentioned within this article are purely examples of products that contain particular fragrance notes. As a result, the products mentioned in this article are for reference only. We do not receive any commission for affiliated links/advertising.