A bedroom for the senses

Smell the roses. Smell the coffee. Whatever it is that makes you happy. 

The fragrance of your bedroom can affect your mood, sleep and ultimately your happiness. After all, no one wants to drift off to la la land with the odour of dirty socks permeating their nostrils, right?

Engaging the senses, like colour and smell, could be the key to giving you a good night’s sleep – that and a good bed obviously! We’ve got a few tips on smells, scents and fragrances that can keep your boudoir fresh as well as help with sleep.


The smell of jasmine heralds the start of spring here in New Zealand and as it flowers there’s a hint of sweet and soft from the white flowering shrub. It’s popularly used in aromatherapy, herbal remedies, and cosmetics and as a natural sleep remedy.

It’s also considered to have aphrodisiac qualities – legend has it that Cleopatra seduced Mark Antony with the seductive scent of jasmine. Use freshly picked sprigs of jasmine in a vase in the bedroom or go for an oil infuser. Jasmine scented candles are popular but ensure you don’t use them in the bedroom at night while asleep or unattended.


Probably THE most popular smell that’s synonymous with sleep. It’s in everything from  teas to face creams because for centuries it’s been used to help alleviate anxiety. Many researchers have found it helps also with insomnia, restlessness and depression. You can try a lavender fabric softener when you wash your sheets or dryer sheets.

Or try adding a couple of drops of lavender essential oils to your unscented detergent. One of our Sleepyhead Facebook friends even said she had pots of lavender growing under her washing line and would hang her sheets over them to absorb some of the smell. A vase of fresh lavender will spread the aroma around your bedroom or you could use an oil diffuser.


The smell of vanilla often evokes thoughts of baking, food or your nana’s kitchen and maybe that’s why it’s considered to be a stress relieving scent. It’s shown to have a positive affect on your mood and has been used in antidepressants. 

Therefore the fragrance has been linked to creating the perfect environment for sleep so ideal for the bedroom. Try it as a pillow spray before you go to bed or lightly spray it on your eye mask at night  if you wear one to cut out the light. Vanilla is a popular fragrance for sleep candles (but don’t fall asleep with them) or in oil diffusers as well as for washing detergents & softeners.

Rose & Geranium

Two very floral scents that are known to reduce stress and anxiety and help you sleep.

They may be too overpowering as an aroma to come, but can leave your bedroom with that beautiful smell alongside the visual appeal if you are using fresh cut  flowers. Popular in candles, diffusers and essential oils – you can lightly spray either scent on your pillow before you go to bed.

Orange & Lemon

Citrus isn’t something you necessarily equate with falling asleep. To some it might conjure up thoughts of cleaning products but that’s because its bright and uplifting smells are best to help you get up in the morning. Old wives tales talk about leaving a piece of lemon by your bed to help with stress and anxiety but also to improve your cognitive function. 

These cheery fragrances are thought to help with your memory, concentration and mental activity during the day. These scents are often available in candles, wall plug-ins and oil diffusers.

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