“It smells like sex in here.”
A line many have heard after bodies separate and the world reappears post-sex — it can be like hitting a carnal wall.
That scent, along with any others in the space, can have an impact on sexual experience — though you may not necessarily notice it in the moment. Studies show that sexual experiences can be heightened when smell was taken into consideration, including more pleasant sexual experiences and higher frequency of orgasms for women.
Whether it’s incense, candles, diffusers, essential oils, fragrances or any other product that adds scents to your space, acknowledging smells and adding fragrance can add another layer to sex. Step up your sexy game with these scents — we’ve stuck to candles here to get you started!
Vanilla is a scent we all recognize — it’s sweet, warm and soothing. It’s also a natural aphrodisiac. Historically — from the Mayans to the French — the scent has been connected to sexual arousal. Its sweetness can reduce drowsiness and help ease tension and stress.
Scent suggestion: Paddywax — Vanilla Bean and Cinnamon
Three words: spicy but sweet — a killer combination. The smell of ginger has been known to stimulate the circulatory system, pumping blood throughout to every corner of the body, especially the sex organs — be it yours or your sexual partner’s. Spicy and warm scents can also lead to perspiration, which can heighten chemicals that lead to sexual attraction. Ginger is even mentioned in Kama Sutra.
Scent suggestion: Salt Spring Island Candle Co — Neptune (Clary, sage, eucalyptus and ginger)
Jasmine has been used for erotic purposes for centuries, particularly in Asian countries. It contains indole — a compound that is found close to human genitals, connecting it innately to the sexual experience. It can also produce feelings of euphoria and confidence. We suggest trying it alongside sandalwood, mentioned below.
Jasmine is rich, but still sweet and seductive — and it is also one of the most readily available scents out there, as it is a favourite in perfumes!
Scent suggestion: Vancouver Candle Co — Kitsilano
Neroli is a modern favourite when it comes to scents. Made from steam-distilled bitter orange blossoms, it is sweet and refreshing with a metallic undertone that can make it an overall head aroma. It blends particularly well with several other scents on this list, including jasmine, ylang ylang and sandalwood.
Scent suggestion: Black Candle Society — Neroli and Musk
Perhaps one of the more traditionally masculine scents listed, Sandalwood has been used for over 4,000 years as an aphrodisiac. Sandalwood relieves tension, relaxes muscles and is well known for its meditative properties. As the name suggests, it has a woody, muskier aroma, but is still sweet.
Scent suggestion: Paddywax — Tobacco and Sandalwood
Warm and woody, the scent of amber creeps up as the body warms up. As an oil, amber can enhance intimacy by upping blood circulation and revitalizing hormones. The scent is sultry and seductive, without being too overpowering.
It isn’t usually an essential oil on its own so if that’s the route you take, don’t be surprised if it is combined with other scents.
Scent Suggestion: Canvas Candle Company — Fireside