The Scent of Valentine’s

Pass any retailer this week and you’ll be hard-pressed not to realise, it’s coming up to Valentine’s Day – but, what should you buy for your Valentine?

In the US, the average spend will be $116.21, and in the UK, men will spend about £35-£40 on their partner on Valentine’s Day. This may be on chocolates, flowers, spa days, lingerie, and, of course, jewellery – all those engagement rings!

Men, just a tip, women are 38% more likely to say ‘Yes’ on Valentine’s Day than on any other day in the year.

But, for getting ‘in the mood’ for Valentine’s, it seems that the best way to make your Valentine feel like returning your ‘amour’ is to appeal to their noses.

Yes, scent, is one of the most powerful of aphrodisiacs because our sense of smell is so closely related to the emotional centre of our brains.

But, before you rush out and buy the perfume, according to a survey carried out by Dr. Alan Hirsch of Chicago’s Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, “It appears that food odours elicit the greatest sexual response.”

Women, your tip now, baking banana nut bread is likely to turn on a man as the smell is one of his aphrodisiac favourites!

That said, although a scent can induce desires, it is unlikely to do so if the person isn’t already interested.

But, they do have an effect. In research using identical twins, the results were that when the twins sat at a bar for an evening, the one who was sprayed with manufactured pheromones was approached three times more often than the twin who hadn’t been sprayed.

The Best Aphrodisiac Scents

The first mention on record of aphrodisiacs comes from Egyptian medical papyri believed to date from between 2200 and 1700 BC, but what are the best aphrodisiac scents? We researched many of the surveys already undertaken and found the following top 25 essential oils and scents of the most potent aphrodisiacs:

25.  Green Apples – The smell of green apples balances the emotions and is calming but uplifting

24.  Neroli – also known as orange blossom. Victorian brides wore or carried a sprig of orange blossom to calm nerves and stimulate romance. Intoxicating and heady, it is loved by both men and women.

23.  Ginger – Mentioned as an aphrodisiac in the Kama Sutra, ginger is spicy and warm which heightens the chemicals leading to sexual attraction.

22.  Black Pepper – another hot one, which induces perspiration and increased heart rate, reactions that mimic human sexual response.

21.  Orchids – The name orchid comes from the Greek orchis, “testicles,” and it is said that women in Thessaly drank the soft bulbs of an orchid with goat’s milk in order to stimulate desire. Their smell is light and beautiful.

20.  Pink Grapefruit – Although not a scent one would call ‘sensual’, research has shown that men felt women who wore this fragrance were considerably younger than they actually were.

19.  Clary Sage – The herby scent of clary sage known from old times for perfume may help a woman feel less stressful and lower her sexual inhibitions.

18.  Almonds – Ancient Greeks, The Old Testament, Moroccan and Indian cultures all make explicit insinuation to almonds being important to reproduction and sexual promise. Almonds contain high levels of fatty acids central to the production of hormones required to maintain a strong sex drive. Studies show that the scent of almonds arouses women.

17.  Violets – symbolising the renewal of spring, common names for members of the violet family include; Call-me-to-you, Meet-me-in-the-entry and Kiss-me-at-the-garden-gate – references to sex and love. In Greek myths, Persephone, was picking violets when Hades abducted her and took her to the underworld with him and the violet was the flower of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.

16.  Clove – the warm, slightly spicy scent arouses the senses; great for men as even a small amount of clove can increase testosterone.

15.  Peppermint – the minty freshness of peppermint energises and is said to, um, make women ‘feel good’ multiple times.

14.  Cucumber – combined with the other scents, cucumber whooshes that feeling for sexual healing right up to top position.

13.  Musk – earthy, sharp, fragrant and used as base notes for perfumes, the scent of musk used in ancient perfumery included the glandular secretions from animals such as the musk deer. Nowadays the plant oils from musk mallow seed, muskflower, or Garden Angelica are used to simulate the animal smell of musk.

12.  Rose – Of all the scents considered aphrodisiacs, roses are perhaps the most well-known and most enduring. And none more than the red rose! In the U.S., 198,000,000 roses are grown especially for Valentine’s Day.

The rich, warm, hypnotic allure of rose has been thought to be an aphrodisiac since ancient times. A classic component for perfume, the dark and sensual smell of the red rose has not only been used for women. To increase their sex appeal, Arabian men of old were said to rub rose-scented oil on their hands and in their beards.

This is because it is believed the perfume of a rose deeply stimulates the senses thereby signalling to the brain that it’s time to increase the activity of sex hormones leading to higher sexual arousal and the lowering of inhibitions.

11.  Basil – perhaps it is odd that a standard herb should be higher on the list than the rose, however, oils containing the gently spicy scent of basil are excellent for rejuvenating the sex drive. In Italy in days gone by, young women would rub themselves with basil oil when planning to seduce their male suitors.

The numerous studies conducted by Hirsch proved exactly this – basil is a potent aphrodisiac!

10.  Patchouli – although relaxing and mellow for some, the earthy sweetness and woody sensuality of this scent is believed to awaken and provoke sexual energy. In ancient India, patchouli’s exotic scent was used in Tantric practices and, today, it is still one of the most common ingredients in the most expensive men’s perfume – so it must be working.

9.  Lily of the Valley – Although a little demure and an innocent floral, this light, subtle scent seems to do it for men as, in the Hirsch studies, the smell of lily of the valley heightened arousal in 11 percent of men.

8.  Citrus – In the Hirsch studies, the slightly sharp sweetness of orange aroused a whopping 20% of men. Supposedly able to stimulate the hypothalamus (the part of the brain which releases sex hormones in women) this fruity and fresh scent works for both men and women.

7.  Black liquorice – The smell of liquorice seems to strongly affect both sexes, especially when mixed with other scents. In the world of essential oils the one that matches best to Black Liquorice is Star Anise.

Known since ancient times to have hidden aphrodisiac qualities, the potency of aniseed and the sweetness and aromatic bouquet of Star Anise stimulates those red blood cells and sends us into heady awakening.

6.  Cinnamon – one of the most sweet and pleasant aromas, cinnamon is famous throughout the world and is another of those scents considered an aphrodisiac since ancient times.

The book of Proverbs in the Bible mentions cinnamon which together with myrrh and aloe, was used to “perfume the lovers’ bed” and the Queen of Sheba reputedly used cinnamon to seduce King Solomon. Herodotus writes that there are those who believed the source of cassia (another name for cinnamon) was the home of Dionysos – the god of fertility and orgiastic ecstasy.

Reported to be able to increase “heat” within the body, the reputation of cinnamon doesn’t fail; in the Hirsch study, when cinnamon and vanilla were mixed in a scent called ‘Pumpkin Pie’, this brought an amazing 40% of men to their knees.

5.  Ylang Ylang – strong, exotic and floral, ylang ylang has for a long time been considered one of the more powerful aphrodisiac scents. Increasing energy between lovers, this flirty fragrance is rich and warm and touches deep inside the sensory system. Much sweeter than most of the other aphrodisiacal scents, ylang ylang enhances sensuality and in Indonesia ylang ylang is spread on the bed of newly-weds. Not surprising, then, that the perfume of ylang ylang is one of the key notes in the eternal fragrance of Chanel No.5.

4.  Lavender – Cleopatra was said to have seduced both Marc Antony and Julius Caesar with the scent of lavender. And mixed with cedar wood, lavender has been known to be remarkably successful as an aphrodisiac.

Known throughout history as the herb of love, men say it makes them feel nurtured and women say this beautiful fragrance helps them to feel relaxed. With a unique floral, romantic scent, when lavender was mixed with the scent of ‘pumpkin pie’, it drove the men is the Hirsch survey wild.

3.  Jasmine – Many, including some doctors, claim jasmine to be the most sensual of all natural scents. Spicy yet subtle, rich, sweet and floral, this most popular of fragrances has been well-known over centuries and continents as being erotic and seductive.

The delicate white flowers of jasmine contain indole, an active ingredient found in many smells with aphrodisiacal properties – and which is also found in great quantities around human genitals.

Arousing both men and women alike, the warm and alluring jasmine has been used for hundreds of years in India to improve the libido and it is even reported that the owners of elephants would wear jasmine flowers in order to arouse the elephants to assist them in reproducing.

Beautifully romantic, it is said that jasmine has the ability to open the other senses to new experiences.

2.  Sandalwood – Rich and earthy and highly intoxicating, this light woody aroma is another of those used for millennia as part of the Tantric sexual rituals. Sandalwood is also reported to activate the second chakra and intensify sexual response.

This oriental perfume is very seductive and is used extensively by the high end perfumeries. The aroma is said to be meditative, relaxing and has the ability to relieve anxiety and has been said to smell similar to androsterone, a chemical not unlike to testosterone.

They say that the wearer of sandalwood sends out subtle, but suggestive, signals to the opposite sex that are very effective and makes the wearer always in demand for truly romantic encounters.

1. Vanilla – Warm, sensual, welcoming and indulgent, there is no other natural scent that can compete with vanilla for being the best aphrodisiac of all time.

Once considered an effective cure for male impotency, vanilla has been used as an ingredient in Chinese and French perfumes for centuries. Simultaneously inducing euphoria and relaxation, as far back at the 1700s, vanilla has been chosen as an elixir to boost male sexual power and was thought to be an effective cure for male impotency. In a book by Dr John King in 1898, vanilla’s positive effects were said to “stimulate the sexual propensities.”

According to Dr. Craig Warren of the Sense of Smell Institute, “Vanilla produces the feeling of happiness universally around the world.”

Believed to induce similar positive effects and sensations in women, scientists can’t exactly say why, however, vanilla touches our emotions, uplifts our mood and makes us open to all aspects of love and desire.

Described as blissful and dreamy, and as decadent as chocolate, vanilla is second only to saffron as the most expensive spice in the world – but, it is the most popular. And, to some extent, science supports the aphrodisiacal effects of vanilla by reporting that the molecular structure of certain components in vanilla are similar to that of human pheromones. Further, researchers found vanilla does, indeed, promote sexual arousal.

So, if you’re looking for love on Valentine’s Day, the number one, the very best scent to promote amour, by far, is the smell of vanilla.

World of Wills

What on earth, you may be thinking, has Wills got to do with all this sensuality?

Well, one thing that is obvious from the above, is that, for love, we need to be relaxed. Nothing should be there nagging at the back of your mind, pulling you away from the desire that awaits. So, if you haven’t yet made your Will, that may be the niggle inside your head that shouldn’t be there.

It is well known that most people feel great peace of mind once they have had their Will written and the process is easy.

So, just before Valentine’s Day, why not give us a call on: 020 8920 3360, or email us at: Alternatively, you could visit our website: Your loved one will be glad you did!

We look forward to hearing from you.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Another well informed blog, which, as a soap maker, I found very interesting. Many of the aromas mentioned here appear in the soaps I make already, but I am now enthused to concoct a few more.


    • Thank you for your kind comments, Jim, we are glad that you like our blog. Best of luck with your soap business; don’t forget there are tax efficient Wills for those in business – ask us about Business Property Relief and trusts


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