Use scent to your advantage
With so many aromatherapy products on the market, all it takes is a few simple rules to trigger the desired mental state. Aromatherapy oils can be broadly categorised into two groups - those that stimulate and those that relax.
Energising scents include basil, thyme, cypress, lemongrass, rosemary, grapefruit, ginger, peppermint, tea tree and juniper berry; while soothing scents include lavender, rose, vanilla, jasmine, chamomile, bergamot, ylang ylang, clary sage, neroli and patchouli. A wet wash cloth used in the morning can be sprinkled with a few drops of lemongrass, grapefruit or even peppermint oil for a quick wake-me-up, while a lip balm scented with any oil that has a stimulating effect will help with mid-afternoon office sleepiness.
Some people enjoy a post-workout massage, and rose, jasmine, chamomile or vanilla are good choices for a destressing session after the gym. Sprinkling these oils in the bath after a long day will have the same relaxing effect. Lavender is commonly used to induce sleep, and a few drops on a cloth (to avoid staining pillows) can make for a soothing sleep.
Choose from ready-blended oils that can either rev you up for the day or wind you down at night. Aromessence Circularome Body Balm (HK$550) by Decleor can be purchased at the Grand Hyatt's Plateau Spa, and the lemon, pepper, cypress, angelica and lavender work to energise the skin and body. L'Occitane Organic Revitalising Essential Oil Blend (HK$150) in mint, pine and rosemary serve to refresh and re-energise the body. Calm Your Senses Lavender and Vanilla Oil (HK$225) by Origins can be used in the bath or as a soothing massage oil. Aromatherapy Associates' Light Relax Bath & Shower Oil, a blend of lavender, chamomile and ylang ylang (HK$480) is used at The Mandarin Spa to relax the body and mind.