The Calming Fragrance That’s Like a 30-Minute Meditation in a Bottle

Scanning the Internet these past few weeks, you've likely come across hundreds of different suggestions for how to temper your stress during quarantine. Meditation! Journaling! Baking banana bread! While all of these are valuable ways to help you calm the F down and find some balance, we've got an even easier one for you: Spritz yourself with Ellis Brooklyn Rives Eau de Parfum ($100).

There's an entire body of research touting the calming benefits that fragrance can have on your brain, and scented spritzes and sprays have become a fixture on many of our desks and nightstands for exactly that purpose. According to Givaudan senior perfumer, Nicole Mancini, while certain notes have calming benefits on their own, you can up the "ahh"-factor even further by blending them together, like this fragrance does with lavender, neroli, and petitgrain.

Smelling lavender is known to relax your nervous system; neroli (an essential oil extracted from the flowers of bitter orange trees) has been shown to have stress-reducing benefits; and petitgrain helps to improve focus and reduce stress.  Each of these scents contains a compound called linalyl acetate, which Mancini says is likely the common thread that gives them each their calming properties.

Ellis Brooklyn Rives Eau de Parfum, $100

Photo: Ellis Brooklyn

Not only does this particular perfume have functional properties, but it also happens to smell like a sunny day in some far-flung locale. It was inspired by the French Riviera of the1920s, and is meant to evoke feelings of "lazy days on the shore, evening writer salons, and fresh midnight breezes wafting through open windows,"—aka the things most of us are dreaming about right now, as we're stuck in quarantine.

If a lavender-neroli-petitgrain blend isn't quite your thing, Mancini suggests look for fragrances that contain other calming notes—like bergamot, jasmine, and vanilla—to help ease anxious thoughts. She's also a fan of L'Occitane Herbae L'eau ($70), Jo Malone Silver Birch and Lavender Cologne ($72), And if spritzing perfume at all (particularly during isolation) isn't for you, you can also reap scents' calming benefits by diffusing them into your home with a candle or aromatherapy spray. "The delivery system doesn't really matter," says Mancini. The mood-boost, however, does.

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