12 Calming Scents to Relax and Unwind


David Em

Relaxation Hero may earn a commission on purchases made from affiliate links on this page.

Your sense of smell affects how you feel. Some scents cause stress, while others make you relax. Learn about the best calming scents to unwind.

Person smelling flowers.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Some scents make you feel at ease. Others cause you to be tense.

Your reaction is due to your hundreds of smell receptors. They tell your brain how to interpret each scent.

You can use that knowledge through aromatherapy. It uses essential oils from plants for therapeutic effects.

The following are calming scents that’ll help you relax and feel good.

1. Lavender

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Lavender is a fantastic scent for relaxation. Its aroma combines floral and sweet notes to provide soothing effects.

Lavender has a unique smell and will help you unwind fast.

It’s perfect for relaxing throughout the day or getting ready to sleep.

You’ll also find lavender in many soaps, lotions, and fragrances due to its ability to soothe.

2. Rose

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Rose essential oil offers a warm and deep floral scent.

It’s one of the more expensive because you need a lot of rose petals to make it.

Regardless, it’s a calming scent that’ll put you at ease. Use it to have a relaxing experience and atmosphere.

3. Geranium

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Geranium has a sweet, floral, and fruity aroma with rose undertones.

It has less of a powdery scent and more citrus when compared to rose oil.

Geranium essential oil offers a therapeutic scent that’s also fresh and welcoming.

4. Jasmine

Jasmine flower.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Jasmine has a rich, floral, sweet, and romantic smell. You may also notice hints of grass in it.

A jasmine aroma promotes relaxation and delivers better sleep.

It calms your mind, body, and soul, making it an ideal calming scent.

5. Vanilla

Vanilla plant.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Vanilla offers a warm, sweet, rich, and comforting scent.

After a long day, smell vanilla, and you’ll feel better. It gets your mind off the busyness of life and helps you unwind.

Its calming effect is perfect for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

6. Ylang-Ylang

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Ylang-ylang has an exotic and elegant floral scent. You’ll smell hints of sweet and earthy tones.

It’s one of the most calming scents, as it lowers your heart and breathing rate.

It also promotes harmony in your mind and body. You’ll be at ease and find yourself unwinding fast.

7. Cinnamon

Cinnamon sticks.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Cinnamon offers a warm, sweet, woody, and spicy smell. It gives you feelings of comfort and relaxes your muscles.

Its soothing properties also make it easier for you to fall asleep.

Cinnamon works wonders for relaxation.

8. Peppermint

Peppermint leaves.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Peppermint is a unique scent because it increases focus while soothing you.

It has a minty, refreshing, and invigorating smell.

Use it to clear your mind and unwind when things feel overwhelming.

9. Chamomile

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Chamomile has a warm, fruity, and sweet scent.

It’s on the subtle side of aromas. So, it’s perfect if you don’t want something to overpower the room.

The soft smell of chamomile is gentle and does an excellent job of relaxing you.

10. Vetiver

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Vetiver has a unique aroma. It’s earthy and woody with a sweet and smoky undertone.

Its deep and rich scent has a calming effect on your mind and body.

It’s perfect for achieving a state of relaxation and tranquility.

Many fragrances, soaps, and lotions use vetiver due for soothing effects.

11. Sandalwood

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Sandalwood is a warm, woody, and earthy scent. The smell comes from bark and roots.

It offers a soothing, therapeutic, and grounding effect.

Sandalwood can help you get into a meditative state and achieve inner peace.

It’s excellent for unwinding and calming your mind.

12. Cedarwood

Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

Cedarwood smells soft, earthy, and woodsy. It’ll remind you of nature and the great outdoors.

The scent is comforting and promotes stress relief. It also features citrus undertones.

Use it to relax or help you doze off for a good night’s sleep.

How to use calming scents

Ways to use calming scents.
Photo by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

The calming scents of essential oils offer therapeutic effects.

The oils are concentrated plant extracts, so a little goes a long way.

There are several ways to use them.

The following covers each method and what you need to know about it.


An excellent way to use calming scents is with an essential oil diffuser.

The different types include ultrasonic, heat, nebulizing, and evaporative.

Regardless of the one you use, add a few drops of essential oils to it and enjoy the scents.

The diffuser disperses the oil into the air to relax you and create a calm environment.


Candles create a beautiful and calming environment. So, you can light a candle with a relaxing scent and enjoy it.

As the candle burns, the smell of the oils disperses into the air. You’ll get a soothing scent and chill vibes.

Room spray

A room spray mixes essential oils with carrier oils or water. It allows you to spray it anywhere you want.

Since it’s a spray, the scent won’t last as long. But you still get the relaxing effects.


The easiest way to experience calming scents is to inhale them.

Open a bottle of essential oils and take a deep breath through your nose. You’ll inhale the soothing smell and exhale your stress.

Avoid touching the essential oils with your skin, as they’re potent.

Frequently asked questions about calming scents

What scent clears your mind?

Peppermint and cinnamon are scents that can help clear your mind. They boost concentration and focus while relaxing you.

What scent calms anxiety?

Lavender is one of the top calming scents. Its scent combines floral freshness with sweet undertones. Lavender can clear your mind, calm anxiety, and relax your body. It’s excellent for creating a soothing environment.

What scents are best for sleep?

Lavender, ylang-ylang, vetiver, jasmine, rose, and chamomile are the best scents for sleep. Each one is calming and mind-clearing. So, they put you in a comfortable position to fall into restorative sleep.

Final thoughts

Use calming scents to relax and relieve stress. You can use them to unwind after a long day or to fall asleep faster.

Scents like lavender, jasmine, and ylang-ylang are some of the most calming.

They’re an excellent way to boost your mood, clear your mind, and relax your body.

Related: Calming Colors to Soothe You

Featured image by David Em/Relaxation Hero.

David Em.

David Em

David Em is the Founder of Relaxation Hero. He created this site to provide tips and resources to help you relax. Outside of Relaxation Hero, David is the CEO of Everyone Media Group. He also enjoys hiking, running, and traveling.