14 Alluring Scents With Aphrodisiac Qualities

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Scent is among the most powerful senses, and often we don't even realize how it's affecting us. More than touch, taste, or hearing, our sense of smell is intimately connected to our memories. The smell of freshly baked cookies, bacon, or garlic can make our stomachs start to rumble and mouths begin to water. Freshly brewed coffee, lemon, and peppermint can increase your productivity — and certain fragrances can even trigger arousal. Usually, aphrodisiac scents are described as musky and spicy. They are almost always categorized as warm and earthy.


Likely, you already own a fragrance that uses one or more of these aphrodisiac scents, as they are frequently used as a base for popular perfumes and colognes. However, this isn't the only way that aphrodisiac scents can be used. Fragranced baths, lotions, and oil diffusers can also set the mood and increase libido. Below, we'll walk you through 14 of the most effective aphrodisiacs to try out in the bedroom for an even more euphoric experience.


Ginseng is one of the most respected aphrodisiacs used today. It can be applied topically or taken orally to provide you with its effects. In traditional Chinese medicine practices, the roots of several species of ginseng plants have been used to enhance a person's sexuality. Now, thanks to a few scientific studies, ginseng has been proven to heighten libido and boost sperm counts in healthy persons. Additionally, the sweet and earthy scent of ginseng could combat environmental stressors, biochemical imbalances, and an overanxious mind, all the while, increasing testosterone and enhancing desire during fornication.


A highly-rated Ginseng perfume option is the Demeter Fragrance Library Ginseng Root Spray. Demeter is known for its many unique yet simple scents such as kitten fur, salt air, rain, and wet garden. This pure ginseng fragrance gives you a subtle earthy and woody scent that anyone would be drawn to. As a bonus, it can be layered with other aphrodisiac scents to make it even more potent.

Blood orange

Blood orange scent is thought to be a powerful stress reliever, productivity booster, and sexual health improver. Internally, the bleeding fruit can relieve inflammation, muscular spasms, and aid in digestion and detoxification. While none of these issues are particularly linked to sex, it can make the experience more enjoyable as your body becomes more relaxed and any pain or tension washes away. An unhappy mind and body can lead to decreased sexual desires for you and your partner. As a bonus, the citrus fragrance neutralizes odor which almost always helps to set the mood.


One way you can bring blood orange fragrance into the bedroom is with Pacifica's Tuscan Blood Orange Perfumed Hair & Body Mist. This sweeter take on the blood orange scent is perfect for wearing in the summer and spritzing into your hair when you have next-to-nothing on. It leaves the aphrodisiac in your wake, heightening your sexual energy.


Taken orally, ginger is a stimulant that increases blood flow and reduces oxidative stress, which can lead to higher libidos and better sexual experiences. It may also improve fertility and reduce the symptoms of erectile dysfunction. However, you typically have to eat ginger raw, pickled, candied, or brewed in tea to reap these benefits. As a scent, ginger has some aphrodisiac properties. The smell of ginger can be described as spicy, peppery, and slightly citrus-like. Breathing in the essential oil can cure a tummy ache or nausea. It's best used topically on your pulse points where it can stimulate these naturally warm areas. This makes it good for use before sex as it brings forth feelings of warmth and self-awareness.


Our favorite ginger perfume option is LUSH's The Perfume Library in Ginger. Enhanced with notes of bergamot, Sicilian red mandarin, and sandalwood, this vegan fragrance is sultry, spicy, and perfect for any time of day.


Originally, vanilla was used by the Totonac people in Mexico, who used the seed pods as medicine to treat an array of ailments. Later, the Aztec people found its scent and flavor to be enjoyable, especially when combined with chocolate, and it was them who introduced vanilla to the Spanish who harnessed its aphrodisiac and stimulant properties. Vanilla's scent comes from its seed pod. Men in particular seem to reap the most sexual arousal from vanilla compared to others. Still, the smell of vanilla is an aphrodisiac for women too. The fragrance brings forth a sense of comfort, coziness, and tranquility. The feeling of safety that arises from this can calm the mind and body, which allows for a deeper connection during a sexual experience as your anxious thoughts and tense muscles are soothed by the aroma.


Dior Vanilla Diorama is made with a vanilla scent that imitates the Diorama Gourmand dessert loved by and specially made for Christian Dior. Described by some as a masterpiece, this popular fragrance uses orange and cocoa notes to round out the scent.

Ylang Ylang

Native to a few different islands off the Southeastern coast of Asia, Ylang Ylang is borne on a tall tropical tree that boasts stringy yellow flowers and large dark green leaves. For many years, the scent of Ylang Ylang has been used to give hair, skin, clothes, and other fabrics a floral fragrance. Ylang Ylang essential oil is among the easiest forms to buy the scent in. It can be diffused or mixed into an unscented base. No matter how you use it, breathing in the aroma can create an intense feeling of euphoria. As you find yourself in a positive mood, the flower helps improve your mental health, reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety that could be inhibiting your sexual desires.


A well-liked Ylang Ylang fragrance option is the Solinotes Paris Ylang Eau de Parfum. The scent is blended with two other aphrodisiacs, jasmine and tuberose to increase its power. Use it in the morning, after lunch, or before bedtime to connect to your desires.


Roses are likely one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs and it's not a difficult scent to find. You can even make your own rose-scented mixtures, just beware of pesticides in store-bought flowers. Taken orally or simply sniffed, roses provide several benefits to your sexual health. For many years, roses have been used to treat a variety of conditions, particularly related to women's health. Most notably, rose petals can be consumed in teas which could regulate menstruation and stimulate digestion. In the past, roses have been recommended by herbalists and health professionals alike for treating inflammation, dizziness, stomach aches, headaches, and more. Studies have reported that rose oil has use in relieving depression symptoms, menstrual cramps, and bleeding. It also may lead to increased sexual desire.


The NEST New York Turkish Rose Perfume Oil is made with Damask roses sourced from flower farms in Turkey. Each flower is handpicked and inspected for quality. Though rose can be described as a basic scent, this fragrance is anything but basic. With the added notes of black plum and blond woods, the aphrodisiac becomes deeper and sweeter.


Patchouli is a fragrant plant in the mint family that can be used fresh or dried as a mood enhancer, sedative, and aphrodisiac. Many Asian cultures have used patchouli for a long time. In traditional medicine, people would have it prescribed for acne, dandruff, and other skin conditions. Even further back in history, the plant was eaten, smeared on the skin, and breathed-in for a variety of reasons. Patchouli is also a repellant used against several species of bugs including moths and bedbugs. Dried plant matter can be stuffed into sachets and hidden in fabric to repel insects. On the other hand, it certainly can bring people together. Yogis in India even used it in their Tantric practices because of patchouli's healing and aphrodisiac properties.


One take on patchouli's aroma is Kayali's Vanilla Royale Sugared Patchouli. The fragrance is favored by many for its warm and spicy, genderless scent that uses notes of golden rum and vanilla alongside sugared patchouli. Described as a seductive scent, the aphrodisiac qualities of the fragrance definitely stand out.


Derived from the tropical musk mallow plant, ambrette is the name of the seed that we get its essential oil from. The seed and the fruit of the plant have a musky smell that is sometimes referred to as floral or sweet. Real ambrette essential oil can be an expensive purchase as musk mallow plants are hard-to-grow annuals and native to the tropical regions of Asia. Ambrette oil has been used to treat some minor ailments such as itchiness. However, its main draw is its scent used in perfumes, powders, drinks, and aromatherapy. Ambrette seeds' aphrodisiac qualities have made it popular for use in the bedroom. The warm scent is continually likened to skin, which unwinds the mind and allows for a closer connection to your own desires and your partner's.


Our favorite fragrance option using ambrette is the Le Labo Ambrette 9 eau de parfum. It claims to use the "only musky scent made by nature itself." Along with ambrette seeds, the eau de parfum also includes scents of fruit and citrus which lend themselves to the natural, earthy fragrance.


Sandalwood is an extremely well-known scent that is used in a multitude of colognes, perfumes, lotions, and aromatherapy products. It comes from the Indian sandalwood tree, which is harvested for its heartwood that can be steamed to create sandalwood essential oil. The scent of sandalwood is usually described as sweet, earthy, and woody. This smell is similar to the human pheromone, androsterone, which is said to promote sexuality and sensuality. One study reports that "Sandalwood oil elevates pulse rate, skin conductance level and systolic blood pressure and brings about higher ratings of attentiveness and mood in humans." Each of these things can increase your sex drive and even make sex more pleasurable for some.


If you're looking to bring sandalwood fragrance into your life, we recommend Maison Louis Marie's No.04 Bois de Balincourt Perfume Oil. The perfume oil is vegan and responsibly sourced, which should be a major concern when purchasing anything that uses sandalwood oil.


Lavender has long been known for its calming and stress-reducing aromatic properties that make it useful for smelling at bedtime, during a nighttime shower, or when bouts of panic occur. Inhaling lavender-scented lotions, perfumes, or sachets significantly decreases negative feelings due to the fragrance's ability to stimulate the brain's dopamine receptors. As you smell the sweet and herbal fragrance, your brain is feeling calmer and happier, which can also lead to an even better sexual experience from the aphrodisiac powers of the flower.


You can use the scent of lavender in a variety of ways. There are many candles, bath bombs, lotions, and sachets that hold the well-known fragrance. Our favorite lavender perfume option is Clean Beauty Collective's Clean Classic Simply Clean. The scent is layered with lavender, cardamom, and bergamot for a fresh and floral smell that makes you feel cleaner and calmer. Try it alongside a platter of strawberries and chocolate for the full experience.


Saffron has long been considered an aphrodisiac, and it was used as such before clinical studies were performed to prove it. One study found that saffron could lessen the effects of sexual dysfunction and enhance sexual experiences. People who use the natural aphrodisiac experience heightened libido and stamina. Saffron smells earthy and a little bit sweet, like honey. Its aroma can be used to calm the stress hormone cortisol levels. When this happens, PMS symptoms are lightened as the scent can simultaneously increase estrogen. Saffron is unique in its ability to do this and it is likely due to its nutrient-dense nature.


Byredo's Black Saffron Eau de Parfum is an incredibly popular scent that boasts an intense and genderless aroma. First introduced to us in 2012, it includes additional notes of juniper berries and pomelo that only deepen the saffron's sweet and earthy smell. The perfume itself is reportedly amber-like and spicy.


In traditional Chinese medicine, pumpkin seeds were used primarily for their anti-depressant qualities. Today, we've found even more benefits of the pumpkin. The round orange squash seeds have an impact on prostate health, healthy hormone function, and sexual health. In addition to pumpkin seeds' health benefits, the scent of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice also has a place in the bedroom. Spices associated with pumpkin include cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice. Many of these are aphrodisiacs on their own. When used in combination with the smell of pumpkin, you've created a powerful scent that can lead to a better sexual experience with your partner.


Among the best fragrances that use the scent of pumpkin is Demeter's Fragrance Library Pumpkin Spice Latte. This complex scent uses the smell of freshly brewed coffee, pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg to provide us with the warm and happy feeling found in the pumpkin's aroma.


Jasmine is believed to help with abdominal pain, diarrhea, insomnia, and anxiety. Similarly to lavender, its sweet and floral fragrance helps the body relax and unwind while also increasing sexual desire. Suitable for all genders, the fragrance is sometimes called "the king of essential oils". In many cultures, it is a symbol of love, sex, or intimacy. Jasmine can even diminish the symptoms of depression and anxiety that harm a person's self-confidence. It's a useful oil for the bedroom as it can make you feel more in touch with your body and your partner.


Commonly used in massage oils, lotions, and perfume, it's easy to find a jasmine-scented product for you and your partner to try out the next time you find yourselves between the sheets. Our favorite is another aphrodisiac fragrance from Le Labo, their Jasmin 17 Eau de Parfum. Jasmine 17 is brimming with aphrodisiac scents as it includes musk, sandalwood, and vanilla alongside its jasmine base.

Black licorice

Many love the scent of licorice. Not only is it a great fragrance, but it is also an aphrodisiac that enhances feelings of arousal. In particular, black licorice can increase blood flow and libido due to the magnesium, silicon, and thiamine in its make up. Keep in mind that red and black licorice are not the same. Only black licorice is made with licorice root. However, in the United States, most black licorice on our shelves doesn't contain licorice root extract either, instead, it's replaced with anise extract. If you want to reap its sexual health benefits, you need real licorice root.


Wearing black licorice perfume is not a bad idea when you want to feel sexy. Licorice from Demeter's Fragrance Library uses the singular scent to produce a positive mood. Best for going out at night or staying in with your partner, this fragrance is sure to get your blood pumping.