Your home office might not be the first place you think to place a scented candle, but it's a space that's sure to benefit from a fresh, uplifting aroma. There's something about the ritual of lighting a candle that can really help you focus. Once your desk is cleared and organized, your to-do list planned out, and your computer is raring to go, this ceremonial task can really help you set the tone for a few hours of productivity.
Besides making your home smell amazing, the right candle scent will put you in the right frame of might for work. While sweet-smelling candles might be your first choice for a bedroom, or oudy fragrances might tempt you in the living room, a home office aroma should be fresh and zingy, helping to uplift and energize you.
'Being the strongest of our senses, smell has the best ability to influence brain activity,' explains Niko Dafkos, scent expert and co-founder of Earl of East. 'So choosing the right fragrances to fill your space whilst you work or study can be hugely beneficial to your overall focus and productivity.'
To help you understand which scents to look for when shopping for the perfect home office candle, we caught up with some fragrance experts to gather their recommendations. Here they offer seven different notes to boost productivity, and their suggestion also apply to the likes of difusers and air fresheners, too.
We usually light a scented candle to help us relax, but the right scent can actually energize us instead. Fresh and zingy aromas are great at this, so experts recommend looking for citrus notes when searching for a scented candle for the home office.
'We’d always recommend citrus-based scents when you feel like you need a bit of a lift or help waking up in the morning,' says Niko at Earl of East. 'Lemon is a particularly great scent at promoting concentration as well as reducing feelings of anxiety, and our Greenhouse scent is a fresh blend of sweet vine tomato, basil and lemon zest.'
At Jo Loves, founder Jo Malone CBE always creates Home Candles with distinct scent notes in mind to elevate the ambiance and feel of your home. 'Citrus notes are not only clean and refreshing, but they also have a sharp energizing effect which is lovely for your kitchen or office spaces,' she says. 'The zesty combination of Pomelo, Lime, or Grapefruit with a variety of other scent notes will infuse your home office with a burst of vitality, helping you stay focused and alert throughout the day.'
The likes of cinnamon and cardamom might make some of the best scents to make your home smell like Christmas, but these stimulating spices are also a great choice for a home office, too.
'To create a warmer, more welcoming ambiance, spice notes work wonders,' says Jo. 'The warm and invigorating blend of cinnamon, pepper, and cardamom adds a touch of vibrancy to your living room and/or bedroom. It's like a subtle pick-me-up that keeps you feeling cozy throughout the colder winter months.' For an invigorating candle scent from her collection, she suggest the Beaumont candle by Jo Loves which has of patchouli and myrrh.
Peppermint is another fragrance - and flavor - known to invigorate the scenses. In an office environment, this fresh aroma will certainly make you feel alert and ready to work, especially when combined with citrus notes for a scent-layering experience.
'A known energy booster, peppermint invigorates the mind, promotes concentration, and stimulates clear thinking,' explains Niko. 'Find uplifting peppermint in our Onsen collection, along with eucalyptus and mandarin. It's one of the best scents for focus and the candle'is a staple in our home office.'
Jasmine has a much sweeter smell than other fragrances listed here so far, but it makes for one of the best-scented candles for a home office thanks to its associations with promoting calm and positivity.
'Often used to help calm nerves, Jasmine has uplifting capabilities that promote feelings of confidence and optimism,' Niko says. 'Jasmine is also linked to feeling switched on and serene, at the same time - the ideal scent for interviews and meetings.' If you're looking for the ideal jasmine scent, you can find it in Earl of East's Wildflower collection, along with gardenia and rose geranium, all of which are fresh yet sweet-smelling options for a study space.
Besides citrus alone, other fruity scents are perfectly suited for boosting productivity and helping you work from home effectively. 'Notes like mango are perfect to uplift and create a positive atmosphere,' Jo suggests. 'It's like having a bowl of fresh, invigorating fruit right at your fingertips.'
The beauty of these natural and versatile scents is that they're just as well-suited for a kitchen or living room as they are for productivity spaces, especially during summer. Jo recommends her Mango Thai Lime candle for the perfect blend of sweet fruitiness and fresh citrus.
'Traditionally used to aid relaxation and calm nerves, cedarwood can also be effective at reducing mental clutter and in turn, improving productivity and focus,' Niko notes. The woody scent is also a great choice for autumn scentscaping, making it one of the best candle scents to make your home smell like fall.
'Find cedarwood in our Atlas Cedar collection along with olive leaf and white musk,' Niko adds. 'Besides using it in the home office, we also like to burn our Atlas Cedar candle in the evenings at home after work to help switch off and unwind.'
Herbs are known for their invigorating properties, especially sage. The distinctive, naturally derived scent makes a great choice for a candle to help clear your mind and pairs particularly well with citrus notes.
'In aromatherapy, clary sage is known for its ability to improve mental function,' Niko says. 'Inhaling clary sage's fresh scent can improve your productivity and mental focus.' If you don't fancy lighting a candle, Earl of East offer sage in an essential oil form which contains a refreshing blend of peppermint, clary sage, and lavender. 'It's the ultimate scent for focus,' Niko says. 'Pair it with an aroma diffuser and fill your space with the scent.'
Ready to turn your home office into the ultimate productivity zone? Choose one of these seven scents, or pair multiple together, and making lighting a candle part of your daily work ritual.
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Scent: Shinrin-Yoku (cedarwood, oakmoss and black pepper)
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Lilith Hudson is the News Editor at Livingetc, and an expert at decoding trends and reporting on them as they happen. Writing news, features, and explainers for our digital platform, she's the go-to person for all the latest micro-trends, interior hacks, and color inspiration you need in your home. Lilith discovered a love for lifestyle journalism during her BA in English and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham where she spent more time writing for her student magazine than she did studying. After graduating, she decided to take things a step further and now holds an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London, with previous experience at the Saturday Times Magazine, Evening Standard, DJ Mag, and The Simple Things Magazine. At weekends you'll find her renovating a tiny one-up, one-down annex next to her Dad's holiday cottage in the Derbyshire dales where she applies all the latest design ideas she's picked up through the week.
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