Who doesn’t love a work space or home office that is well designed and motivates us to be wonderfully creative and highly productive?

Yet when creating an appealing and supportive work environment, we think of a comfortable and posture-correct desk and chair, colors and textures that help boost our productivity and creativity, cabinets and containers to help us stay clutter free, and accessories that are inspiring and beautiful, but we often fail to consider what an important part fragrance plays in an ideal work environment.



Our Work-Space Should Appeal to Our Sense of Smell

A work space can look and feel sensational in terms of great design and overall harmony, but it should appeal to all of our senses, and if its scent is less than good, the entire motivational impact and desire to be there can be lost in a flash. We have all walked into a space that didn’t smell fresh.  You just want to leave.

If you work from home, there’s a great deal of activity that can affect a home’s bouquet, such as people, pets, cooking, vacuuming, and even changes in the weather. Odors can sometimes accumulate in fabrics and porous surfaces, too.  In older homes especially, years of dust, animals, kitchen and laundry room use, and general family activity can have a cumulative negative effect.

Not Bad, but Not Inspiring Either

Often,  a work space doesn’t necessarily smell bad, but it’s just sort of flat. Since you are fabulous, this “flat-fragrance” is not good enough for your office!  You want fabulous, so your haven of creativity and productivity can encapsulate you in good feelings that inspire and invigorate.
You also want an environment where you can be focused and get really clear. Fragrance can refresh you and help elevate your mood at work. Sometimes we begin our work day feeling unmotivated, or we may be struggling with feelings and emotions that linger on from our “real lives”, or we may even be in a slump or fog, and we have trouble zeroing in on a task or making a decision. Fragrance can help by kick-starting the brain and offering a different neural-pathway for your thinking.

Research supports that fragrance does affect our mood, our productivity, and our feeling of well-being. Our sense of smell is directly tied to the area of the brain where emotions and memories come from (the limbic system). Research also shows that pleasant and desirable fragrances can improve work performance.

Clean & Purify the Air and Add Fragrance

To help boost your emotions and manage your moods during your work time, make an effort to purify the air and add fragrance in your office area.
You purify the air mainly through periodic “housekeeping” tasks such as vacuuming upholstery and draperies and sweeping to remove dust and pet hairs. Mopping will further remove particles you may not see with the eye. Then, special fabric sprays can be applied directly to upholstery and window treatments to ward off or even absorb “odor molecules” that tend to attach themselves to fabric fibers. You can also clean the air with the use of certain types of oil lamps that are designed to purify the environment.

Adding fragrance is the FUN part, and you can actually BOOST your business productivity this way. I am going to cover some basic fragrances and fill you in on how they can help your mood, your thinking, your creativity, and your work flow. I’ll also give you the 411 on easy ways to bring fragrance into your office so you can get starting SMELLING SUCCESS right away!

You Have Choices!

There are many invigorating fragrances to choose from for your office or work space, and each one listed here will definitely benefit your body and brain. Keep in mind though, that aromas do affect different peeps in different ways, but generally speaking, here’s what you can expect from youroffice fragrances:

Peppermint will invigorate you. This scent actually helps stimulate the same area of the brain that controls wakefulness and gets us up each morning! Peppermint can also help increase your tendency towards physical movement—so hooray to peppermint if you are feeling a little sluggish or lacking in motivation.  It will help you get out of your fog as it increases your alertness.  By the way, it also enhances memory!

Cinnamon in the nostrils can actually cause you to be more alert and more prone to generating ideas, because is believed that the scent increases blood flow to the brain, feeding it with needed oxygen and glucose, two vital brain foods!  Cinnamon can also help you to recover from exhaustion and fatigue  while increasing your levels of attention and awareness.

Lavender will help relax you, and sometimes this is needed at work, especially if a client or your crazy (occasionally) life has got your tummy in a wad. It has been shown that exposure to the lavender scent works to decrease the heart rate. Lavender is an exceptional scent to use when you have to work but can’t because you are stressed or emotionally burdened. It puts your mind at rest. It also helps relieve some headaches. Lavender decompresses you so you can better focus.  Since it does relax, a little lavender goes a long way.

Lilac helps to improve memory and can also help with decision making.

Citrus (such as orange, lime, tangerine, grapefruit, and lemon) benefits you in several ways. Mostly, it will energize you and wake up your senses! It’s a good choice if you went to bed late the night before!  In addition, citrus scents are associated with and trigger feelings of happiness. This is the perfect scent to use when you want to call past customers or contact a colleague by phone for the first time. It lets your “friendly” out!  Citrus scents stimulate and uplift, helping you to break free from lethargy and giving you focus and clarity. Citrus helps concentration, which cuts down on mistakes in the work day. It has also been shown to help eliminate stress and even anxiety. These are certainly the scents that can lift your spirits in more ways than one!

Pine is a scent that helps us feel grounded and connected to the Earth and gives us a mental feeling of openness, which is great for business planning. It is both physically and mentally energizing. The fragrance also helps relieve muscle tension.

Woodsy and Musky scents (such as sandalwood, sage, and amber) help invigorate your mood and soothe feelings of irritation. They also help to lift feelings of depression. Some, such as sage, can help reduce stress by stimulating the production of serotonin. This helps your mind to unwind and relax which is vital creativity. In addition, these fragrances increase our sense of self-confidence and add to our feelings of being unique.  Such scents can really come in handy if you are ready to create your brand marketing, work on your Unique Value proposition (UVP), or write your “story”!

Rose will help you to relieve tension.  We all have days when we are feeling a little annoyed, irritable or disrespectfully challenged by others. That’s when you can sniff the fragrance of roses. The sweet, dreamy scent helps melt away mental tensions and can even diminish headaches. It is believed by some researchers that the fragrance of roses can help women in balancing the hormones.

Vanilla will help keep you from sugar cravings and munching on sweets after lunch (provided you did eat lunch), which in turn can save you from those blood sugar level spikes and crashes we often get from downing cookies late in the work day. Smelling vanilla gives us the sensory stimulation that actually consuming the sweets does, but without the mood swings! Vanilla also makes you feel happy in a relaxed way, good for talking with customers!

Bring It!

So there you have your lifestyle lesson on fragrances fitting for the work space. I’ll end with a simple quick list of ways to bring these fragrances into your work environment:

Fragrance oil lamps
Fragrance sticks
Fresh flowers
Fresh citrus fruit in a bowl
Air fresheners,
Specialty air conditioning filters
Add a second layer:
Flavored lipstick or lip balm
Hand lotion

What’s a favorite scent  or aromatherapy tip you enjoy while working?


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10 Responses to Sniff Sniff! I Smell a Fabulous Work Environment & Greater Productivity!

  1. Hi Margo, I use a lot of candles in my office (in the rest of the house as well). I use fragrance based on the color of the candle as well…I love apple-cinnamon and also YlangYlang, these are my favorite. It’s spicy enough and YlangYlang has a sophisticated aroma which I love. Every room in the house has a set of candles with a matching colors and scent. In the bathroom I love madarine and lavender. Great article. You are right fragrance is so important, just as much as color and style in the office.
    Christine Marmoy recently posted..I kissed a Dog and I liked it !My Profile

    • Hi Christine.

      Ylang Ylang is a good one that you don’t often hear about. With it, a little goes a very long way as its essence is very strong.

      This sweet scent helps us to relax and it contributes to a feeling of well-being since it helps stimulate the part of our brains that releases endorphins– perfect for work. It also increases our sense of sensuality, and creates a sense of well being.

      Apple cinnamon is simply delicious. That combo always makes me want to bake cookies, lol!

      Thanks for sharing and especially for making your work environment work for you! Love that.


      Margo DeGange, M.Ed. recently posted..Your Money Formula to Get Serious & Get Rich!My Profile

  2. OMG, love this, Margo…printing it now for future reference. I light a scented buddha candle at my desk for some aroma and a little zen. Every little bit helps, right?
    Danielle Omar – Food Confidence RD recently posted..{recipe} Not Your Mama’s Shepherd’s PieMy Profile

    • Oh Wow Danielle. Please share with us what a Buddah Candle is and what fragrance it has.

      I love that we can manage our environment to support our goals and dreams as well as our well-being.

      This is why I love you so much. You help people become healthy not only with your great food idea choices and nutrition info, but you are so open minded to living a great lifestyle.

      Thanks for reading and sharing, and for printing the article to share with your tribe.

      Love you!


  3. Margo, what a unique article! I never thought about it before and after reading your article, I realize I do a lot of these things. I love lavendar – it relaxes, calms and invigourates me, all at the same time. Also I love this time of the year because it’s warm enough to open my office window, so I get to smell the huge spruce trees in front of my house. Thanks for a great article with oodles of practical ideas. Love it!
    Nadine Nicholson recently posted..5 ways to boost your business knowledge on a budgetMy Profile

    • You’re welcome Nadine.

      It’s interesting that you can smell the spruce trees from your office window. Spruce is great for staying “even” at work. When its fragrance is inhaled, spruce calms anxiety and also helps with stress related conditions

      I was a business and marketing coach in the Interior Design industry for many years, and I also ran a design firm for 20 years, so you study and learn these things and try to pass them on! It is amazing how both fragrance and color can change brain activity.

      There is so much research on fragrance and the brain. Dr. Frank Lawlis wrote a book called ‘The Stress Answer’, and in part of the book he explains how fragrance (as well as certain music) can help people with anxiety and depression! So you know if fragrance can do that, it certainly can help motivate us at work.

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing. So glad you enjoyed the article.

      Big Hugs!

      Margo DeGange, M.Ed. recently posted..Two Amazingly Useful Lifestyle Design TIPS!My Profile

  4. Candles in my office are a MUST! Right now I have a fruity cucumber melon candle. It’s green and totally perfect for spring. It’s so yummy and makes my work space very appetizing :)
    Agatha K, The Fun Money Nerd recently posted..[VIDEO] Is Money Stress Making You Fat?My Profile

    • Oh yum Agatha, cucumber melon sounds wonderful. This combination relieves anxiety and it also increases sensuality in women, which could be sort of fun at break time, lol!

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing. it’s good to hear you are enjoying great fragrance at work.

      Margo DeGange, M.Ed. recently posted..Practice Safe StressMy Profile

  5. You know, I love the scent of vanilla chai tea, so I often have a cup brewing -or sipping while at work. Now I just have to find it in a ‘can’ so I can stop drinking it so much!

    I also love the scent of fresh citrus. To me, it just feels clean. I have a spray bottle of it, and occasionally spray my chair (which is orange) with it.
    Shannon Cherry recently posted..No more bad live events… I promise!My Profile

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