Sleep experts are encouraging people to wear perfume to bed, but which scents are best?

Marilyn Monroe was onto something when she shared her bedtime beauty anecdote

(Image credit: Laura Chouette / Unsplash)

Whilst wearing ones of your best fragrances to bed may be considered a waste, it's possible Marilyn Monroe was onto something when she shared her nightly beauty anecdote. Yes, a little bedtime spritz may get things going with your partner, but it's also been revealed that wearing the right scent can bring on strong feelings of relaxation. 

Rebecca Lockwood, a Hypnosis and Positive Psychology Coach, has explained this further: “What you are doing is anchoring and training your brain to associate the smell with a certain feeling. You are installing this into your brain through your neural networks and your senses, so that the next time you come to smell that scent, it will trigger the feeling of calmness subconsciously.”

To help you pick the scent you should start wearing to bed, we spoke to the sleep experts at MattressNextDay who have shared six scents for you to consider.   

1. Neroli

Neroli is a delicate mix of floral and citrus, and is well-known for alleviating sleeping problems. It’s commonly used to help treat insomnia because the citrus elements induce a relaxed and slightly hypnotic feeling, resulting in a state of calm that makes anyone ready for sleep.

Recommendation: Neroli Portofino Acqua – Tom Ford 

2. Lavender 

Whilst everyone is aware of the calming powers of lavender, studies have also shown that lavender can improve sleep quality and lower anxiety. This is because of its sedative properties, which is also why it’s the number one scent used for the best essential oils and pillow sprays.

Recommendation: Amber & Lavender Cologne – Jo Malone

3. Ylang-ylang

Ylang-ylang is native to Asian countries and has similar benefits to lavender oil, so it makes a good alternative if you don’t like the smell of lavender. Another study found that ylang-ylang reduced anxiety and boosted self-esteem when applied to the skin, making it perfect for those who are wanting a good night’s sleep or to feel more confident in the bed for other reasons. 

Recommendation: Ylang 49 Eau de Parfum – Le Labo

4. Sandalwood

The soft, woodiness of sandalwood has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat mental and physical disorders, including anxiety, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia and more. 

Recommendation: Colonia Eau de Cologne Spray – Acqua di Parma 

5. Rose

Research shows that rose is great for relaxation and relieving stress levels. However, most surprising of all – the rose scent is shown to help improve your learning while you’re sleeping, making it the perfect bedtime fragrance for those who are studying.

Recommendation: Eau Rose Eau de Toilette – Diptyque

How can wearing perfume to bed improve your sleep quality?

Eudora Nwasike, a Certified Fragrance Specialist has explained why perfume is so powerful when it going to sleep. She says  “The Olfactory bulb, which is the front part of the brain which controls smell, sends information to the amygdala and hippocampus parts of your brain. These are the regions of the brain that are responsible for emotion and memory, so whenever we smell a scent for the first time or repeatedly, it stimulates the primitive parts of our memory.”

She goes on to explain further that “the essential oil in perfumes soothes the mind, relaxes the body, and reduces stress levels. However, it is important to always use the same fragrance in your bedtime routine because this helps your brain, senses, and body to make a connection with the familiar scent.”

Check out 5 beautiful fragrances you should have in your home this summer.

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.