The best home office fragrances to boost productivity and concentration

Experts reveal the secrets to using scent to create a productive space

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(Image credit: Dan Duchars / Future)

Whether you have a dedicated home office space or have designated a space or area in your bedroom, living room or dining room table for you to work or enjoy a hobby, creating a space where you can not only concentrate but do some in a calm manner, is key. While you can perfect your home office ideas, it is important not to forget about the role scenting your home office can play too.

'The choice of home fragrances for a home office can play a significant role in promoting productivity, reducing stress, and creating a conducive work environment,’ says Alex Hall, founder at Born of Botanics

‘In home offices, it's important to strike a balance between invigoration and tranquillity,’ suggests Aluxury’s founder, Andrew Gaugler. However, only you will know exactly what kind of working environment you’re looking to achieve in your work-from-home space.

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(Image credit: Future PLC)

‘While there is ongoing research on the effects of scents on productivity and stress reduction, the field is still evolving, and scientific evidence may vary. Certain smells have been traditionally associated with specific mood and cognitive performance effects,’ Alex adds.

The best home office scents

If you're looking to scent your at-home working space, some of the leading fragrance experts have shared their top recommendations for what scents to choose with us.

Whether you use essential oils in a diffuser like The White Company's motion sensor plug-in diffuser, or a traditional candle, these are the scents to opt for.

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(Image credit: Future PLC)

1. Rosemary

‘Whenever you need a boost of brain power, awakening scents like mint, rosemary and eucalyptus are stimulating, making them great for concentration,’ affirms The White Company’s founder, Chrissie Rucker OBE.

‘Rosemary has been linked to improved cognitive performance and memory retention,’ remarks Alex. ‘The scent of rosemary may help increase alertness and concentration, making it a suitable fragrance for a home office where focus and productivity are essential.’

2. Peppermint

‘Peppermint is known for its invigorating and refreshing qualities. It may help boost energy levels, improve concentration, and alleviate mental fatigue, making it beneficial for a home office setting,’ Alex continues.

3. Woody notes

‘If it’s a sense of calm you’re after, select fragrances with woody and resin notes; there’s a reason why sandalwood, cedar and frankincense have long been used for meditative practices,’ reveals Tajinder Banwait, founder of Urban Apothecary London.

‘The woody note of sandalwood is reputed for encouraging mental clarity, making it an ideal component for office ambience. Additions of earthy cedarwood and patchouli offer a calming undertone, helping to alleviate work-related stresses,’ Andrew concurs.

Experiment with scent combinations

‘It's important to note that individual responses to scents can vary, and what works well for one person may not have the same effect on another,’ warns Alex. And this is especially true for fragrances that we’re hoping will give us an energy or concentration boost.

‘Furthermore, research on the impact of odours on productivity and stress reduction is still emerging, and more scientific studies are needed to establish concrete conclusions,’ Alex continues.

So, experimenting with a few different fragrances before you decide on a definitive one can help you work out which one works best for you during office hours. Essentially, you want to make your work environment and space one which is pleasant and inviting, with it being an added bonus if it impacts or improves your mood and overall performance.

‘Scents used in a home office should not be too strong that it becomes distracting either,' says Chrissie from The White Company. ‘Using a scent like Wild Mint in a diffuser or candle is a subtle way to softly scent a home office.’


What should I do if I don’t have a dedicated home office space?

If your home office is a multi-purpose space, instead of an enclosed room dedicated to working, it’s worth bearing in mind the other areas that will also be used.

It’s also ‘good to use one scent for working hours, and a totally different one when it's time to wind down,’ suggests Floral Street’s founder, Michelle Feeney. ‘Changing aromas can really help you switch between work, family and leisure times.’

Ellis Cochrane

Ellis Cochrane has been a Freelance Contributor for Ideal Home since 2023. She graduated with a Joint Honours degree in Politics and English from the University of Strathclyde and between her exams and graduation, started a lifestyle blog where she would share what she was buying, reading and doing. In doing so, she created opportunities to work with some of her dream brands and discovered the possibility of freelance writing, after always dreaming of writing for magazines when she was growing up.

Since then, she has contributed to a variety of online and print publications, covering everything from celebrity news and beauty reviews to her real passion; homes and interiors. She started writing about all things homes, gardens and interiors after joining Decor & Design Scotland as a Freelance Journalist and Social Media Account Manager in 2021. She then started freelancing at House Beautiful, Country Living and in Stylist’s Home team. Ellis is currently saving to buy her first home in Glasgow with far too many Pinterest boards dedicated to her many design ideas and inspirations.