Fight off Seasonal Affective Disorder with these 3 scents this winter

These aromas can help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder, so you can kiss goodbye to those winter blues

A wooden circular serving platter holding a lit candle, a white mug with coffee, and an orange on a white windowsill with fairy lights scattered about
(Image credit: Getty Images/Anna Blazhuk)

Don't get us wrong, we love a cozy winter evening, but Seasonal Affective Disorder — S.A.D. — has the power to overwhelm us and discourage the hygge (consciously enjoying the small things in life) vibes we craved at the start of the season. 

Symptoms can include fatigue, a lack of social interaction, and depression, making it a challenging few months for as many as 10 million Americans. Thankfully, there are ways to combat it, including light therapy. But experts at Charles Farris, one of the world's oldest luxury candlemakers, suggest we turn to scents to combat these difficulties. 

Since we're contributing to our home fragrance collection anyway, we figured we'd take our candle purchases a step further and fight the winter blues with these expert-approved aromas. 

How to fight Seasonal Affective Disorder with scents

When skies are grey and moods are blue, we might feel a bit helpless, but even simple steps such as lighting a candle can put us back on track to feeling well.

"Luckily, there are plenty of ways to keep the winter blues at bay, and thanks to their range of psychological benefits, scented candles are just one tool in your arsenal," says Timothy Duggan-Rees, managing director at Charles Farris.

Well, now you've mentioned it, we have been eyeing a few new goodies...

Timothy Duggan-Rees

Timothy Duggan-Rees is the managing director at Charles Farris, one of the oldest luxury candlemakers in the world, with roots in Victorian times. 

1. Use fruity scents for fatigue

Slices of orange and pink citrus fruits piled together in close focus

(Image credit: Getty Images/LightFieldStudios)

Even if you're using some of the best pillows out there to drift off to Neverland, chances are you're still feeling a bit sluggish during the winter, and it's completely normal.

"A common symptom of Seasonal Affective Disorder is a noticeable lack of energy," Timothy says. "With the reduced daylight influencing our circadian rhythms and the production of sleep hormones like melatonin, we must find other ways to restore our energy throughout the day."

Fruity scents and mint are rejuvenating aromas and will give us a much-needed jolt (even if we've already used the small coffee maker on our kitchen counter multiple times). These types of scents signal the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, and in turn, lift our spirits when we need it most.

2. Use floral scents for relaxation

A closeup of a bouquet of violet roses

(Image credit: Getty Images/Vikusha)

Though we tend to avoid garden strolls in the middle of winter, the best way to feel relaxed and zen when S.A.D. symptoms kick in is through floral scents, so reach for that bodega bouquet whenever possible.

"Ylang-Ylang is widely known as a sleep-enhancing scent, cherished for its soothing properties and natural aroma that may influence a person’s nervous system," Timothy says. "By regulating these crucial aspects of our mind and body, we create a better state of mind and relaxation."

3. Use jasmine for a mood boost

A bushel of white jasmine flowers on a sunny day in close focus

(Image credit: Getty Images/Jason Edwards)

Whether you're opting for a candle or one of the best reed diffusers out there, Timothy suggests going the jasmine route if you're looking for a mood boost. 

"Jasmine scents are crafted to provide an uplifting experience, with people noting how it helps foster and create a more positive environment at home," he says. 

Looking for more ways to keep your home smelling fresh? If you'd like to go the DIY route, we've spoken to experts about how to make a reed diffuser and how to get the most out of a scented candle.

Danielle Valente
Content Editor

Pleasure to meet you! I'm Danielle, a content editor at Real Homes who loves scoping out interior trends. I've specialized in lifestyle writing and editing for 10 years with a focus on events, food, and books, among other areas. When I'm not working, I'm usually cooking, reading, or searching for a new project for my apartment.