May 27, 2022

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How To Break Up Your Day With Scents

4 min read

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There are some days when every hour bleeds together to feel like one big blob of time. Especially for those who work at home, the lines between work, play, and relaxation can get blurred, making it difficult to feel grounded and not just rush from task to task. To help break up her day, Sarah Levey, founder and CEO of Y7 Studio, a group of yoga studios in New York City, leans on scents.

“I am very big on kind of invoking all five senses in order to really immerse yourself in experience,” says Levey, who is currently partnering with humidifier and diffuser brand Canopy for the launch of its new line of Rituals scents. Whether she’s doing her morning skin-care regimen, taking some me-time between meetings, or winding down for bed, she uses scent to underscore her routine. “I have a toddler, and everything I do is always rushed. But I found within a week of really incorporating grounding scents into my routine that I started doing things a little bit slower.”

Dara Weiss, aromatherapist and CEO and founder of home fragrance brand L’or de Seraphine, says scent can help you set the mood and get in the right headspace to enjoy your routine.

“Fragrance impacts all of my moods,” Weiss previously told Well+Good. “While I’m getting ready for bed, washing my face, brushing my teeth, taking that time to unwind a bit, it’s really nice to have the fragrance in the background.”

How to break up your day with scents

1. Identify daily routines that could benefit from scents

Maybe you’d like a signature scent going in the background when you’re drinking your coffee and jotting in your journal. Or maybe you need a scent that signals it’s the end of the workday and it’s time to calm down. Figure out which of your routines you’d benefit from being punctuated by scent, then integrate them accordingly.

2. Chose the right scent for what you’re trying to achieve

Weiss says that different scents can be good for different activities and times of the day.

“The citrusy, brighter, more energetic fragrances that’ll really wake you up are wonderful for certain times of day, but are definitely what I would avoid in the evening,” says Weiss. Scents like grapefruit, rosemary, peppermint, and basil are known to support focus, which can be helpful while you work. And calming scents like eucalyptus, chamomile, and patchouli are great to help you destress or wind down for bed.

3. Chose a scent apparatus

When you’re changing up the scent throughout the day, you want a product that allows you to do that with ease. Levey likes to use her Canopy Diffuser ($90). Unlike traditional diffusers where you mix the scent with water and have to finish (or dump) the water to switch scents, Canopy products use clay pucks that you place on top, allowing you to switch between scents in seconds.

“With more traditional diffusers, you’re really kind of stuck with a scent once you start it,” says Levey. “With the pucks, you’re really able to use something a little bit uplifting for the morning time or something a little bit more grounding for the evening. And I think that that’s really, really special and is really valuable when it comes to taking control over regulating your nervous system.”

Canopy’s new Rituals line ($40) includes three scents: grounding Indigo Sage, rejuvenating Emerald Grove, and calming Salt Cave. Salt Cave has been Levey’s go-to during the day. “I just really like it because it makes me feel really like calm,” she says. “It’s got this kind of like sharp sea-salty sense and a little bit of like lime. So it’s still bright enough not to make me sleepy. But then the camomille really kind of like brings it down as well.”

Candles are another great way to use different scents throughout the day. Weiss’s favorite scent to use before bed is the L’or de Seraphine Ares Candle ($32 to $44). “It’s a very kind of grounding soothing fragrance,” she says. The Maia Candle ($32 to $44) is great to use during the day, as it has energizing notes of grapefruit, lily of the valley,  and coriander.

4. Stick with it

When she started using scent during her routines, at first, it was a thing she had to remember to do. Now, it feels natural, and it allows her to really slow down and enjoy what she’s doing.

“I’ve realized I have been going through my routine a little bit slower—and using the oils and the diffuser are the only things that changed,” says Levey. “Whether we realize it or not, the power of scent has an effect on us and our nervous system, which I think is really cool.”

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