Studies show that it is estimated that by 2025 22% of American Workforce Will Be Remote. And that means a lot more home office and working from home.
If you have attempted the work form home lifestyle, you know that it offers its benefits and its drawbacks. One of these benefits is the ability to customize your work space for efficiency, calm and to suit your lifestyle.
As I type this article, I am “working” in my coziest sweat pants, with my feet on my desk, and my (assistant) cat on my lap. A combination of things my previous office managers would frown upon. Today we are looking at the role in scent in the home office space. Let’s further explore which scents are best for creating a relaxing work environment, as well as which can help with focus and concentration.
For Those in a Hurry:
Best Candles for Home Office
Rightfully so, open-flame candles are typically prohibited by building and office management alike for safety reasons, and to be respectful of those around you that may have an aversion to scents.
But scents can elicit reactions in our brain that affect concentration, mood, memory as this 2016 study shows. All factors that can influence productivity in the workplace, so could we use scents to improve our work when we are at home?
As we look at the best candles to burn in your home office, let’s also look at HOW they may be beneficial during the course of your work day.
How do Candles Help you Relax
The effects that candle scents have to help us relax is a result of how our brains processes smells. Scents from your favourite candle as you work, can stimulate the limbic system, the part in our brains that is houses our memory and emotions. It is also part of the brain that determines our emotional & behavioural responses. The Harvard Gazette has an incredible article on How Scent, Emotion and Memory are intertwined – a must read.
We also are all capable of possessing trigger scents – or scents that make us feel relax and calm. Perhaps a scent that reminds you of a calming beach you once visiting, or a quiet walk through a forest.
Calming Candle Scents
There are many scents that when we breathe in, can trigger a reaction in the parts of our brain that sets off reactions in our bodies to feel energized, or calm. The following scents are calming candle scents to try if you are looking to destress during your work day, or wind down in between tasks during your 9 to 5:
- Lavender: known for its sleep-inducing calming and properties. It also helps reduce stress and calms the mind. It can useful if experiencing migraines or a headache and can also combat tension. Lavender Essential Oil also contains the terpenes linalool & β-caryophyllene, which are both calming.
- Jasmine: known for calming nerves and uplifting qualities. Jasmin is commonly used to promote optimism & happiness. It’s essential oil possesses the geraniol and linalool terpenes, which can relieve stress
- Vanilla: Can help you relax and reduce restlessness. Studies show it can reduce hyperactivity in your body’s circulatory, digestive, and nervous systems.
- Chamomile: Can improve feelings of stress, and promote restful sleep.
- Sandalwood: It’s essential oil can promote calm, relieve stress, and improve sleep quality. It’s terpenes santalol and β-curcumen-12-ol can improve mood and attentiveness.
The Sojourn Company has you covered for Good Vibes in a jar. Check these out!
Best Scents for Concentration
You may have dodged the chatty coworkers in the next cubicle over by working out of your home office, but that doe not mean that the concentration is dialed in. After all, the xbox is just in the next room, so how do we stay focused on the work ahead when it’s only 11:30am?! Perhaps science can help us out with the following scents to promote concentration:
- Lemon: Helps the mind with concentration and clarity. Studies also show that lemon scents raises levels of norepinephrine, which is a chemical in the brain linked to motivation & decision making. (Calling all CEO’s!)
- Peppermint: An effective scent for brainstorming sessions. Peppermint promotes creativity, and as a natural energy booster, it invigorates the mind.
- Cinnamon: Naturally stimulating and combats mental fatigue. Cinnamon also enhances alertness and memory. The scent of Cinnamon can also fight brain fog.
- Eucalyptus: Helps improve the performance on cognitive tasks. The terpene Limonene found in Eucalyptus can help reduce stress and mood disorders.
- Cedarwood: Has been used by many cultures for boosting concentration and focus. While the cedrol terpene found in Cedarwood Essential oil has a soothing effect on mood.
It is also believed that scents can purify auric and energy fields, which may help improve focus. A candle is a common companion for those practicing silent meditation, as focusing on flame of a candle can help hone focus & cognition.
Best Scents for Focus
Working from home in any form can be challenging to remain focused. Perhaps school is closed and the kids are running around, or you are being beckoned but the siren’s call of your fridge. Keeping focused on the task at hand can be difficult, but here are some scents that are known to promote focus, and can help you stay productive:
- Rosemary: Helps with working and spacial memory, combats feelings of fatigue, and is a natural stimulate for the brain. Starting your day with the rosemary scent is a great way to boost your mornings.
- Vetiver: Can increase oxygenation of the cells, and is also said to reduce feelings of distraction, which helps dial in concentration. A 2016 study concluded it also increased gamma activity in the frontal cortex, which are associated with higher brain functions like cognition and memory.
- Coffee: Even just the scent of coffee has shown to Inhalation of coffee fragrance enhanced cognitive parameters, continuity of attention, and the speed and quality of memory.
- Citruses: Like lemon, lime and bergamot are great for alertness, and getting motivated during the waking hours. A natural energy booster, lemon specifically is known to be linked to improved cognitive function, and to promote clarity and calmness.
- Ginger: Commonly used to invigorate and energize. Ginger also is a fatigue fighter.
- Pine: Its Essential Oil is known to be uplifting, and invigorating. Pine scent is also used for its clarifying effect.
- Palo Santo: Truly one of our favorite scents, although difficult to pinpoint what the scent of Palo Santo smells like. Palo santo is widely used for its calming scent and purported purifying effects on the body, mind and spirit. Its relaxing properties may be due to limonene – a compound which has been shown in animal studies to help reduce stress levels.
Best Candles for Working at Home
Whether you are looking to help relax after a gauntlet of Zoom calls, or trying to focus up in the morning after a night of poor sleep, we hope we have provided some insight on how the range of scents, varying from bright citruses to earthy pines can help get you through the day. Here at the Sojourn Company, we are very proud of our custom blends of fragrance and essential oils that are inspired by nature, and hand crafted to promote well being.
Our Tahitian Bungalow candle uses both Vanilla and Sandalwood scent, and will transport your senses to the exotic French Polynesia, if only for your lunch hour. While our Al Fresco Candle uses Oatmilk, Honey, Cut Grass and the energizing Bergamot Essential Oil – perfect to start your mornings off right. Stroll through our SHOP and find a scent that is perfectly blended to help get you through to Friday!