How Your Fragrance Can Make You More Confident
According to study, your scent might boost your confidence.
“Aromas may improve your mood and modify your behavior,” says Danielle Fleming, the founder of Note Fragrances and a fragrance specialist.
“Fragrance has the power to trigger a wide range of emotions, from confidence to sexiness, happiness, and relaxation, among others.”
According to one study, 90% of women asked (from teenagers to senior citizens) indicated they felt more confident when wearing a fragrance than when they don’t. That’s because your olfactory system (also known as your sense of smell) is linked to the limbic system, which is a primitive region of the brain that interprets memories and emotions.
“Fragrance has a significant impact on how you feel.”
There isn’t, however, a one-size-fits-all confidence booster eau. This is why: “From a physiological standpoint,” argues Fleming, “it’s about how you connect to a scent on an emotional level.” And there are two ways for this to play out. The first is how your brain decodes the aroma.
When you smell a fragrance, your brain instantly determines whether it is a pleasant or unpleasant odor (think skunk or rose), and those associations usually last for the rest of your life.
The second factor is how you feel when you smell something. “How we feel about specific odors may be traced back to when we were first exposed to them as children,” adds Fleming. “As scientists, we believe that you are born with a blank slate when it comes to fragrance preferences, but that you develop them through your initial exposure to it or the experience you have when you first smell it.”
And it’s because of this that the smell and confidence relationship exists.
Consider this: if a certain perfume makes you feel fantastic whenever you wear it (perhaps it was the scent you wore when you nailed a business presentation or snagged a date’s attention), your brain will permanently associate it with being all of those things. “When you put on a scent that you connect with positively, it can instantly make you feel confident and in a terrific positive mood—I’ve seen clients literally light up, stand a bit straighter, and grin when it happens,” adds Fleming.
“When you put on a scent that makes you feel good, it can instantly boost your confidence.”
So, how can you figure out which scent will make you feel like you can take on the world?
According to Fleming, the first step is to follow your instincts and choose a perfume you enjoy. “Perfume is very instinctual, which is why perfumers recommend smelling with your brain rather than your nose—your brain works hard to decode everything for you and tells you quite quickly.” I either like it or I don’t.”
Fleming, on the other hand, provides this confidence-boosting cheat sheet.
If you’re naturally more outgoing, floral orientals and gourmand notes can help you “push the boundaries a little bit,” she says. (Try an all-over smell like Caress Mystique Forever Body Wash or a classic eau like Mugler Alien Eau de Parfum Spray, which may last up to 12 hours on skin.)
“You want a smell that will make you feel confident but won’t draw too much overt attention to yourself,” adds Fleming, who recommends fresh, clean, aquatic-based fragrances with a hint of glittering citrus notes if you’re more of an introvert. (Try a subtle smell like Marc Jacobs Cucumber or a scented body lotion like Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Body Moisturizer.)
Then, if you want to bring your A-Game, simply put on your favorite fragrance. It will quickly become your go-to smell for improving your self-esteem.