Why is fragrance related to whether you are unemployed?

Why is fragrance related to whether you are unemployed?

Fragrance seems unrelated to whether we have a job or not. In reality, they are connected to the quality of life, mental well-being, and even whether you pass a job interview.

Our emotions also emit a scent

Human emotions are expressed not only on the face or through voice but also through the fragrance emitted from the body. Numerous studies have shown that changes in emotions are linked to a person’s scent. This means that feelings of anxiety, nervousness, disappointment, or joy during a job search can emit their own unique scent. Moreover, the “scent of emotions” can cause physiological reactions in those around us and influence their behavior in various ways.

A study published by the University of Cambridge revealed that the body scent of individuals experiencing specific emotions can trigger reactions not only psychologically but also physically in others. Participants in the study could perceive the fragrance of individuals experiencing anxiety and tended to become anxious and stressed themselves.

Emotions also have their own ‘scent’

Conversely, the body scent of individuals with happy and joyful moods can spread joy and create a positive atmosphere for those around them. Therefore, if you are increasingly anxious or stressed, the atmosphere of a job interview may also be affected.

Two studies conducted by Chen and Haviland-Jones (2000) and Ackerl (2002) also demonstrated the connection between fragrance and feelings of happiness or fear in both men and women. Overall, these studies show that humans have the ability to identify fragrances associated with happiness and fear in others. However, the recognition of these scents differs between men and women. Women can identify the fragrance of happiness from both men and women, while men can only do the same for the fragrance from women.

Good Work Starts with the Fragrance of Your Living Space

If you’ve been unemployed for too long, constantly struggling with sending out resumes or attending dozens of interviews without success, maybe what you need to change is the environment where you live. Factors like light, temperature, sound, fragrance, and color saturation in an environment play a crucial role in influencing human psychology. To persist in the job search journey, what you need is a comfortable mindset and stable emotional state.


A clean and fragrant living space can uplift the spirits and foster optimism, especially during challenging job searches

Dive into the job search. This is entirely normal, but you need to clearly identify your mindset during your job search. Are you feeling anxious, fearful, confident, or comfortable? These mindsets lead us to different realities. Therefore, before starting a new job, try to tidy up your emotions, rearrange your mood, and you can start this by changing the fragrance in your living space. Why fragrance? Here are a few reasons.

Firstly, the fragrance of your living space can be completely transformed by decluttering your home. Getting rid of unnecessary things, cleaning the floors, washing pillows and blankets, opening windows, buying flowers, lighting scented candles, etc., are things you can do yourself that are cost-effective and have a noticeable impact. According to a study from Iran, you can add the scent of cinnamon to your living space as it has anti-anxiety and anti-depression effects. You can try simmering cinnamon with orange peels on the stove to release the aromatic oils. Or simply light a scented candle or use an herbal essential oil diffuser.


Changing the fragrance is changing both emotions and energy within you and in the surrounding environment

Next, fragrance is a quick method with visible results. Shizuko Yoshikuni, the founder of AOIRO, compares the impact of fragrance to the echo of a bell: “It creates a spaciousness in the mind, so you can set aside things that bother you and make room for other emotions.” In the fast-paced modern world, interacting with fragrance—such as the small act of dropping essential oils into a ceramic diffuser or burning incense—can bring us back to a connection with the body and living in the present moment.

Thirdly, perfumers are also starting to pay attention to fragrances designed specifically for moods. In the past, perfumes emphasized creating an external image or personality. But recently, fragrances have turned inward, affecting the user’s emotions more delicately.

For example, Estée Lauder’s investment in Vyrao—a brand that produces perfumes designed to help customers “connect with themselves and improve their mood”—demonstrates the trust of major beauty brands in the relationship between fragrance and positive emotions. That’s why, in recent years, consumers have been investing more in perfumes that help change their emotions.

According to Circana, currently, 71% of perfume users seek a fragrance that can improve their mood. And nowadays, more and more brands are developing perfumes that help consumers feel excited and full of energy.

Fragrance in Job Interviews – A Controversial Topic

The use of perfume in job interviews remains a controversial topic. Senior HR specialist John Ellery recommends against using perfume in interviews. Fragrance has an intimate connection to emotions stored in human memory. You cannot predict if the fragrance you use is associated with any unpleasant memories for the interviewer. If the recruiter unintentionally has negative emotions towards the fragrance you are using, it may somewhat affect their decision, thus ruining your chances.

Fragrance opens the gates of emotions to support you during job interviews

However, we should understand what fragrances are more suitable rather than considering whether to use them or not. “Fragrance is like a small part of yourself that you leave behind – a olfactory imprint in the memories of those you encounter in life. However, the important thing is to choose the right fragrance,” says perfume expert Roja Dove.

Perfume experts suggest choosing fragrances associated with pleasant, refreshing, and positive feelings. For example, notes of citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit), green notes like tea, mint, or woody notes like sandalwood, cedar, or pine. At the same time, you should avoid overly sweet notes or strong floral scents.


Developing your sense of smell is also a way to enhance your mental well-being when you have plenty of time (while waiting for a job). You can improve your sense of smell through various methods. The easiest is to take time each day to focus on the scents around you and pay attention to your own perceptions. Breathe deeply and savor each scent slowly.

Searching for a job in this tumultuous period can be a challenge. But instead of plunging into that “storm,” you can take the time for yourself to explore sensory aspects you haven’t had the chance to experience before. Jobs can come to us in many very new ways. If you find yourself in a loop of sending resumes and interviews with no results, perhaps it’s a sign for you to choose a different path. A fragrance might trigger an interesting idea, and who knows, a door might open for you in a way you never expected.


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