Does Fragrance Have The Power to Boost Your Mental Energy?

Where do you begin when choosing a fragrance? Maybe you’re seeking something fresh, citrus-driven, and natural at first hit; perhaps you want a heady, carnal scent, the type of smoky, hedonistic allure that’s become almost synonymous with Tom Ford’s opulent range. Then there are boutique scents like Patrick Kelly’s Sigil, which take on an almost spiritual quality, embodying place, energy, and experience. The process of selection is personal—perhaps more so than any other category in beauty.

Lately though, a new perspective on scents is taking shape that is less about top notes, identity, or even raw and synthetic ingredients, and focused more on function. Enter The Nue Co., a fragrance brand that launched with the release of its perfume Forest Lungs—a tart, woodsy fragrance promising lower stress— and Functional Fragrance, which pledges to help reset your mind during times of intense anxiety. The Nue Co.’s latest scent is Mind Energy, a peppery, velvety aroma developing buzz for its ability to boost mental energy and focus. The company’s own clinical research suggests noticeable improvements in productivity and alertness after 30 days of use.

Will we be replacing mid-afternoon coffee with a spritz of fragrance, or reaching for Nue’s cherry-red bottle in the hours before deadlines? Four editors tested The Nue Co.’s Mind Energy, and gave their honest opinions.

Ashley W. Simpson

What’s your typical approach to fragrance?

My approach to fragrance has always been quite intuitive—about as far from analytical as you can get. I alternate between layered androgynous scents (anything Byredo or Commes des Garçons) and fragrances that remind me of home (Tom Ford’s Soleil Brulant). I’ve rarely thought about function or anything like alertness or productively when selecting a perfume.

Describe your experience using the Mind Energy scent.

The fragrance arrived at the perfect time. I was on my way home from Europe to Honolulu for the holidays, and ready to tackle what is always epic jet lag using any tools available. I was in a total haze, on multiple deadlines, and generally awake at all the times I was supposed to be asleep and half-asleep during waking hours. I have to say, I think it worked. It has a fresh, assertive scent that hits you with a wave then slowly envelops you, softening with time. In terms of effect, I’d say it’s less a strong cup of coffee than a subtle breeze of alertness. Even if it’s 100 percent the placebo effect, I’ll take it. I used Mind Energy once I was getting going in the mornings, usually just as I started working and needed an extra boost. I do think it would be worth integrating into a routine, as an added layer when your energy is low.

Beyond its effect on mental alertness and productivity, did you like the scent?

This is where I’m a bit torn. Scent is such a personal thing and I tend to go for headier, less citrus-y options. It smelled almost clinical on me at first, giving way to a warmer, woodsier clove aroma. I can’t see myself using this for the scent alone.

I’ve found myself reaching for Mind Energy on long days. I also tried it when I had a cold. I definitely would recommend it for a minor boost, and if you are drawn to fresh, peppery scents, it may be ideal.

Read more on: beauty