This Citrus-Scented ‘Alarm’ Has *Finally* Gotten Me To Stop Pressing Snooze Every Morning, and Helps Me Wake Up Feeling Refreshed

Photo: Stocksy / Michela Ravasio
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When my alarm goes off in the morning, I rarely wake up bright-eyed and refreshed. It always seems to jolt me in the middle of a deep sleep, so I start my day disoriented and groggy. I'm fine after a few minutes, but making myself stay awake—and avoiding the snooze button—is a daily struggle. I've tried sunrise alarms to kickstart my circadian rhythm for a more gentle wake-up, but light doesn't affect my sleep, and I never really noticed a difference. So more recently, I dove into an experiment using home fragrance to complement my alarm clock.

Citrus scents are "refreshing, bring energy, and have an uplifting, cleansing effect," says certified aromatherapist Caroline Schroeder. "Lemon is cool and joyful while orange is warm and pampers. And grapefruit boosts energy in an entirely different way."

Experts In This Article

To fill my bedroom with energizing citrus scents before I wake, I started using the Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser ($45). It's an app-controlled wall plug-in that allows me to turn the diffuser on and off, set scent schedules, select a scent, determine scent intensity, and change the color of the light emitting from the device. You can also use the to order new fragrances and subscribe to your favorites so you never run out. It has two scent wells (which you can fill with different scent pods), so you can easily switch between scents. The brand has partnered with several luxury perfume brands—like LAFCO, Capri Blue, and NEST—so the scents the diffuser emits are similar in quality and smell to what you'd spritz on your skin.

By scheduling my Pura Diffuser to go off in the morning instead of having it emit scents all day, I'm able to appreciate its fragrances instead of being nose-blind to them (AKA getting so used to them that I can no longer smell them at all). Plus, I'm not wasting scent by running it when I'm not in my room. I tend to wake up between 6:30 a.m. and 8 a.m., so every morning from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., my bedroom is flooded with either Brooklyn Candle Studio's Maui (a blend of bergamot, ylang-ylang, sea salt, sea moss, and driftwood) or Antica Farmacista's Orange Blossom (a combination of mandarin, Sicilian lemon, grapefruit, jasmine, lily of the valley, white lilac, orange blossom, Madagascar vanilla, white musk, and rosewood).

"The typical fresh and uplifting smell of citruses comes from their main chemical component, d-limonene," says Schroeder. "Extracted from the fresh fruit rind and usually pressed, citrus essential oils contain up to 97 percent of d-limonene, and studies suggest this component supports the part of the nervous system responsible for relaxation. In other words, it can decrease stress."

What it's like waking up with the Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser

Waking up in a room that smells like a citrus grove is divine. When I open my eyes and turn off my alarm in a cloud of confusion, the scent helps ground me into reality. Of course, if I didn't get enough sleep the night before, the smell of oranges doesn't change the fact that I'll wake up tired. However, it helps to pull me out of that groggy state and into a pleasant wake-up routine.

When my alarm goes off, I tend to stay in bed daydreaming for 10 to 20 minutes until I feel more alive. Filling my space with energizing scents has elevated this quiet time and made it feel special. And because I have smell going until 10, I get to continue enjoying it while I make my bed, tidy my room, do my morning skin-care routine, and get dressed for the day. Whether you also have a difficult time waking up, or just want to take your daily rituals to the next level, the Pura Smart Fragrance Diffuser is an excellent investment.

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