First-time visitors to my apartment think I hold séances there. Donning practically every table, countertop, mantle, pedestal or other flat surface is at least one candle. Sure, I get criticized by guests and even my roommate at times, but deep down I know everyone who enters my apartment falls in love with the scented sanctuary I’ve worked hard to nurture. Unsurprisingly, I burn candles at work as well. When I got my job here at Kirvin Doak, I was concerned about utilizing any aromatic products because I didn’t want to interfere with the comfort of my colleagues. After awhile, I realized others burned candles as well and nobody seemed to complain, so I gladly began to do the same.
Months and I don’t even know how many candles later, I came to the conclusion that I actually work better when surrounded by a soothing scent. I literally feel like something is wrong when I’m working at my desk without catching wafts of fragrant wax. Everyone says certain colors are scientifically proven to affect mood and productivity in the workplace, so I thought maybe the same is true with scents? After a rather swift Google search, I yielded the results I was hoping for and even learned a few things along the way. Here is a quick breakdown of a few specific scents and what they’ve been confirmed to induce in the average employee:
- Pine and cinnamon: increase alertness and focus; good for concentration when working on a lengthy assignment.
- Lavender: provokes relaxation of the body and mind; especially helpful to calm you down during or after stressful work situations.
- Peppermint and citrus: quick ways to perk you up; great for any rough-start morning or afternoon lulls.
I also, sadly, found out that many offices prohibit their employees from using scented candles, incense or oils as to not disrupt others. But fear not – there are still ways you can enjoy some of your favorite aromas without overpowering a shared workspace:
- Aromatic plants – Assuming you’re able to have small plants at your desk, this is a phenomenal way to have a scent-filled day. For example, a small pot of lavender would be easily detected by you, but not the person one desk over. Plus, it would be kind of fun getting to take care of a plant.
- Scented oil on a cotton ball – Place a few drops of scented oil on a cotton ball, which you can either place on your desk or tuck inside a drawer. Cotton is perfect host for the oil because it helps infuse the surrounding air while still soaking up some of the scent to reduce annoying sensitive noses around you.
- Terra cotta with oil – Like the cotton ball, a terra cotta plate or ornament will absorb the oil and disperse it slowly as it eventually dries.
For anyone interested, here are a few particular aromas I highly recommend:
- Red Velvet Cupcake: My current obsession. It can be found at Target. I literally just received this candle, which inspired the blog you are now reading. It is infinitely calming and I think it’s making me feel a tad more creative than usual.
- Blueberry Pancakes: My previous obsession, made by Patriot Candles. Like the Red Velvet, it’s very soothing, but the whiffs of blueberry perk me up quite a bit. A small note about the food-scented candles, though: they will make you hungry. Be warned. So I recommend trying them after you’ve had your lunch break.
- Volcano by Capri Blue: This is my favorite candle of all time. You can purchase it at Anthropologie. I don’t even know what scents are in it, because it’s just called Volcano and the label doesn’t go any more in-depth than that. I’m sure you can look it up, but I don’t want to because I love being completely intrigued and mystified by this heavenly smell. It burns slowly, so you can enjoy this for weeks.
So there you have it. Now, go about your workdays with your favorite odors, because you have no excuse not to! Unless, of course, you like smelling stale air. In that case, disregard my blog.