Yes, You Should Wear Perfume to Bed—Here's Why

It’s the missing element to your beauty sleep.

I've always been enamored with all things beauty, but my favorite beauty product is undoubtedly perfume. I'm a fragrance diehard. If my steadily growing perfume collection isn't proof enough, the fact that I wear perfume 24/7—yes, even to bed—surely is.

That's not to say I was always this way. My mom, being the intelligent but frugal woman she is, taught me that perfume was something to be reserved for special occasions. And I still think she has a point—we should all have that one particular fragrance we keep tucked away for certain moments.

Unintentional Aromatherapy

However, my fragrance philosophy has changed over the years. When I was gifted a bottle of Dior Miss Dior in college, the sweet floral notes immediately became my signature scent. It smelled so wonderful that I wanted to smell like it all of the time—so that night, after my shower, I spritzed on a dose and went to bed. What started as an extra time spent with my favorite fragrance turned into unintentional aromatherapy. I could feel stressful thoughts melting away—notes of bergamot and rosewood soothed and codded me into the deepest sleep I'd had in weeks.

When I woke up, it was the first thing I smelled. The scent had faded from my skin, but it lingered on my sheets in the most pleasant, subtle way. Waking up like that made me feel elegant and glamorous like Old-Hollywood, or like Marilyn Monroe slinking out of bed in a silk nightgown and perfect hair—Monroe famously declared that she wore nothing to bed except for a few drops of Chanel no. 5. Since then, I've made it a point to bring a favorite scent to bed with me.

Benefits of Wearing Perfume

And it's not just me. Studies show that fragrance has the power to significantly affect your mood, reduce stress, and relax your muscles—all things that you want before hitting the sheets. It's the same reason why hotels and Airbnb hosts use bedroom-specific scents to help guests achieve a better night of sleep.

So what kind of fragrances should you wear to bed? I largely depend on sweet gourmands and warm ambers for my beauty sleep, but it really depends on your bedtime needs. Some people switch to a sexy perfume that their partner also loves while others spritz on coconut scents that call to mind a tropical vacation.

"In order to sleep peacefully and wake completely rested, my advice is to wrap yourself with vanilla-based scents," says Paolo Terenzi, perfumer and president of Tiziana Terenzi. "Different notes can be more appealing at night, especially white flowers, such as magnolia, jasmine, and ylang ylang."

If you have trouble falling asleep, Rachel Beider, certified aromatherapist from Cinquieme Sens via Pratt in New York City, recommends a combination of clary sage, roman chamomile, and bergamot. "Roman chamomile is deeply soothing and calming when applied at bedtime. Clary sage is actually an anti-spasmodic, so it's helpful for reducing restlessness, and bergamot is known to lower blood pressure and slow down the heart rate, which can calm feelings of anxiety."

Essential Oils

Essential oils are another viable option. "If your perfume contains essential oils, you may experience headache relief, which can contribute greatly to your sleep quality," adds Laura Bates, a certified sleep science coach and co-founder of "In this case, your perfume can work as an aromatherapy tool. The essential oils will send signals to the brain, creating a sense of relaxation that is needed for improved sleep quality."

If you do opt for essential oils, aromatherapists highly recommend lavender, which when worn as a perfume has been shown to improve insomnia symptoms. "It does this by altering the electrical waves in the brain during key phases of the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep cycle, the cycle considered responsible for renewing the mind-body connection, consolidating memory, and repairing damaged tissue," says Brittany Hogan, aromatherapist and founder of Nefertem Holistic Skincare. "Studies have shown that inhalation of lavender before and during sleep can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, reduce wake-up times during the night, and improve a sense of vitality the following day."

Keep It Natural

Another tip? "Use essences that are created with natural molecules because they are able to develop aromatherapy effects that will reconcile your sleep; synthetic notes, unfortunately, do not have these beneficial properties," says Terenzi. And whatever you choose, keep it reserved for bedtime. While the powers of scent association can help you fall asleep faster, they can also have the same effect if worn in the middle of the day.

Looking to upgrade your beauty sleep? Below are some of our favorite fragrances that also double as olfactory nightcaps.

01 of 07

Jo Malone London Jasmine Sambac & Marigold Cologne Intense

Jo Malone London Jasmine Sambac & Marigold Cologne Intense perfume bottle

This classic Jo Malone scent is a bedtime favorite (it also just so happens to be the brand's best-selling olfactory concoction).

The highly inviting jasmine and ylang-ylang steal the scent show here, but you can also gather notes of amber and vanilla, among others.

02 of 07

Diptyque Tam Dao

Diptyque Tam Dao perfume bottle

This velvety sandalwood concoction combined with the scent of fresh bed linens is addictive, to say the least. The woody nuances are highlighted with a hint of Asian spices that transport you to a peaceful forest escape.

03 of 07

Christin Louboutin Loubidoo

louboutin loubidoo perfume bottle

Have you ever wondered what a Disney princess smells like? It would be this: Feminine floral with an underlying sweetness. The cedar notes don't sit heavily on the skin, so it's subtle enough to wear to bed and strong enough to last until the morning.

04 of 07

Jimmy Choo I Want Choo

Jimmy Choo I Want Choo perfume bottle

If you're looking to feel a little sexier after-hours, try this scent from Jimmy Choo. The floral-oriental fragrance is infused with velvet peach and vanilla notes for a scent that's equal parts sensual and sophisticated.

05 of 07

Tom Ford Tubéreuse Nue

Tom Ford Tubéreuse-Nue perfume bottle

Another seductive pick? The brand's inspiration behind Tom Ford's Tubéreuse Nue is "the deep sensuality under the veil of night."

The primary note comes from the nocturnal tuberose flower, which is best described as narcotically sweet and intoxicating. To the Victorians, the plant was so distressingly seductive that young women were warned not to get too close to the night-blooming blossoms lest an accidental whiff awaken dangerously illicit desire.

06 of 07

Giorgio Armani Beauty Si Passione Intense Eau de Parfum

Giorgio Armani Beauty Si Intense Eau de Parfum

A quick spritz of this bottle makes falling asleep feel almost instant thanks to soothing notes of blackcurrant and vanilla.

07 of 07

Dior Miss Dior

Dior Miss Dior perfume bottle

This feminine fragrance is perfect to unwind with—its floral notes are light and airy, yet it contains just enough spice and bergamot to distract the mind from a chaotic day.

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