Move over, generic floral fragrances and sickly-sweet vanilla scents – there’s a new player in town, and it’s not just about smelling good. Functional fragrances are taking the beauty world by storm, offering a one-two punch of olfactory delight and targeted wellness benefits.

Think of them as your personal scent-sational support system. 

These innovative elixirs are more than just pretty smells. They often leverage aromatherapy and even scientifically backed ingredients like nootropics, aiming to influence your mood, focus, and even sleep. Imagine a fragrance that not only complements your outfit but also boosts your confidence or helps you unwind after a long day. Yes, please.

At the heart of functional fragrances lies the science of aromachology, a branch of psychology that explores the impact of scents on human behaviour and emotions. Researchers and perfumers collaborate to identify specific scent compounds that trigger positive responses in the brain, influencing neurotransmitters and hormonal levels. 

Your nose might be small, but it’s a powerful gateway to your emotions and memories. With around 450 scent detectives (called olfactory receptors), your nose picks up a whiff and sends the message straight to the brain’s decoding centre (the olfactory bulb). This information takes a detour to the limbic system, the brain’s emotional control centre, before reaching the thalamus, the sensory switchboard. Here’s the fascinating part: before you even consciously “smell” something, it’s already brushed shoulders with the parts of your brain that control your feelings and memories.

So, skip the generic scents and embrace the future of fragrance. Find your functional fit and experience the power of scent beyond the sniff test with Hip & Healthy’s round-up of the best functional fragrances guaranteed to make you smell good and feel even better…

The Nue Co. ‘Mind Energy’ – £98

Ditch the caffeine jitters and boost your focus with The Nue Co.’s Mind Energy fragrance – a unique scent supplement designed to enhance mental clarity and performance. Featuring a blend of peppery and fresh notes like clary sage, juniper, pink peppercorn, and clove, its invigorating aroma stimulates the neural pathway and is clinically proven to increase focus and improve productivity thanks to patented neuroscience technology. Think of it as your pocket-sized pick-me-up for those moments when you need to power through the day with a clear and energised mind. Take that, double-shot latte.

Cosmoss ‘Sacred Mist’ – £125

Imagine a warm hug from essential oils like bergamot, oak moss, orange blossom, jasmine, and tuberose, all working together to create a calming yet captivating scent that chills you out and lifts your spirits. Created by alchemist and homoeopath Victoria Young and inspired by Kate Moss and her garden, this perfume goes beyond smelling good. It nourishes your skin and your soul with its carefully chosen ingredients, promoting emotional balance and a sense of inner peace as you connect with your inner serenity. Basically, it’s meditation in a bottle.

Aromatherapy Associates ‘Forest Therapy Wellness Mist’ – £25

Aromatherapy Associates brings the Japanese forest bathing ritual to your home with this magical mist. A supercharged essential oil blend that captures the woody, green calm of a forest canopy, it marries pink pepper, juniper berry, and Mediterranean cypress to promote respiratory health and deeper breathing for relaxation. More than just a mist, it’s like a mini mental vacation, so spritz generously when you need to feel cool, calm, and collected.

Fewe ‘Eau So Happy’ – £50

Feeling a little down? Look no further than Fewe’s ‘Eau So Happy’. This bespoke mood-lifting scent is designed to support you throughout your cycle, whether you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or simply need a pick-me-up. A refreshing and relaxing fragrance that features a blend of uplifting and calming notes, there’s citrusy orange, neroli, and mandarin to provide an invigorating start, while pear and green stem keep you feeling sharp and awake. Cardamom adds a spicy touch for a bit of warmth, while soothing notes of rose and lily promote relaxation and balance.

Øthers ‘Red Skies’ – £90

The mission of Øthers is simple – “To enable people to recalibrate their everyday habits and create empowered, connected communities that align around emotional resilience.” How? Through powerful functional fragrances and an extensive wellness app that uses aromachology, science, sound, and technology to help you re-set. If you’re stuck in a rut and feeling mentally drained, a spritz of ‘Red Skies’ – with its notes of orange blossom, carrot seed, oakmoss, neroli, patchouli, and fresh spices – will instantly leave you feeling energised while sharpening and focusing your mind.

Vyrao ‘Witchy Woo’ – £135

Vyrao’s ‘Witchy Woo’ is a magical potion bottled up for the modern-day mystic. Created using plant and flower remedies, there’s white musk for clarity, grounding sandalwood, cinnamon, and black pepper for anxiety relief, and Moroccan orris absolute to promote courage and creativity. Not to mention illuminating Frankincense, cleansing, and harmonising iris absolute, and the fact each purple bottle houses a supercharged diamond crystal, known for its mind-clearing, energy-raising powers.

words by Frankie Rozwadowska

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