Let scents lift your spirits in January

Uplifting January scents
Cassie Steer,-Beauty Editor

Put a spring in your step for the New Year with the help of these mood-boosting aromas

Do you smell that? It’s the scent of optimism. That’s right. Despite ‘variants’, WFH about-turns and the inability to diarise any event using anything more than the faintest of pencil marks, 2022 is still looking rosy. The key? Ushering in the power of aromachology (the influence of fragrance on human behaviour) to bring wellbeing to any situation. Long, dark winter nights? We see the perfect excuse for a cosseting candle-and-box-set binge. Feeling anxious? There’s an uplifting aromatherapy oil for that…

According to Neom Organics co-founders Nicola Elliot and Oliver Mennell ‘functional fragrances’ will be bigger than ever this year. ‘Aromatherapy has been used and celebrated for thousands of years from early civilisations to the present day for great reason,’ says Nicola. ‘The power of scent stimulates smell receptors in the nose which send messages through our nervous system to the limbic system – the area of the brain that controls emotions and mood. Your sense of smell is said to be 10,000 times sharper than your other senses, meaning that direct link to your brain should not be underestimated.’

How to channel the power of scent to help ward off the winter blues? ‘Essential oils are a great aid during the colder months,’ says massage therapist Sarah Jane Watson. ‘The most effective for boosting energy are those which have cephalic and stimulating properties. These are predominantly citrus, herbal and spice oils which have an enlivening effect on the mind and body.’ According to Sarah Jane they can be incorporated into your daily routine in several ways depending on your situation and how much time you have.


‘Refresh the spirits with the following aromatherapeutic blends,’ advises Sarah Jane. She suggests adding them to an electric diffuser or oil burner.

  • Basil – ‘A great supporter to the mind’ says Sarah Jane. ‘It helps to sharpen the senses and aid concentration, making it a wonderful study aid. It’s helpful to anyone enduring a state of listlessness.’
  • Bergamot – ‘Extremely useful in all cases of depression and helps those suffering with negative thinking and lack of motivation’
  • Grapefruit – ‘The refreshing and uplifting citrusy aroma has a stabilising effect on those feeling despondent and is helpful for mental exhaustion’


‘Peppermint is wonderfully refreshing for the senses,’ Sarah Jane explains. She describes it as a great ‘pick-me-up’, helping to clear the mind and re-establish alertness as well as boosting both mental and physical vitality. Add to the floor of your shower to kick start the day or choose bathing products which incorporate the scent.

Rosemary is another great choice. ‘It can counteract feelings of apathy, lethargy and indecision,’ says Sarah Jane. ‘Add a couple of drops on a tissue and inhale when feeling fatigued.’


‘Add 2 drops of the following essential oils to 25ml of sweet almond oil and massage into the skin to enliven the mind and body,’ says Sarah Jane.

  • Ylang Ylang – ‘This richly fragrant and sensual oil is beneficial for all stress related disorders. Its uplifting effect is helpful when spirits are low.’
  • Sweet Orange – ‘A lovely comforting tonic oil with regenerating properties. Perfect for anyone suffering from lack of energy or feeling down.’
  • Jasmine – ‘The emotionally warming properties bring about a strong sense of wellbeing and euphoria. It is helpful when self-esteem is low, promoting feelings of confidence and trust.’


‘Pour 1-2 drops of each of the following oils diluted in a spoonful of sweet almond oil or choose a ready-made blend that incorporates them,’ suggest Sarah Jane. ‘Add to the bath once run and agitate the water thoroughly.’ She advises soaking for 20 minutes to feel rebalanced and regenerated.

  • Geranium – ‘A wonderful balancer and harmoniser. It has a regulating effect on the nervous system, is excellent for mood swings and is useful in cases of debility and exhaustion.’
  • Clary Sage – ‘It helps to balance the nervous system. It promotes a sense of wellbeing, giving vigour to debilitated states after illness and is a useful aid for feelings of depression especially post-partum.’
  • Mandarin – ‘The delicate aroma of this essential oil brings cheer to the heart. Mandarin refreshes the spirits and is a wonderful tonic for the nervous system.’

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