Can Coffee Perfume Help You Stay Awake Throughout The Day?

For many people, coffee is the go-to drink for energy and alertness to help them power through the day. A stimulant that can be rapidly absorbed by the body, caffeine is helpful in keeping you awake and aware by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain.

But the benefits of coffee don't stop at the consumption of it. In fact, the mere act of smelling it can also produce the wakening effect on your brain performance. Per a study published in the journal Integrative Medicine Research, inhaling the rich and warm aroma of coffee can lead to improvements in cognitive abilities such as sustained attention, better memory, and enhanced alertness. This is great news for those who can't drink coffee but enjoy the smell of it.

However, even the freshest cup of coffee can lose its aroma after sitting out for half an hour, so imagine how many cups of coffee you have to brew to take in the smoky and herby notes throughout the day. You can either do that, or you can take the easy way and get yourself a bottle of coffee perfume so you can carry it around and smell it whenever you want. It's not hard to find perfumes evocative of freshly brewed espresso on the market nowadays. But the question is: Can coffee-scented products benefit your brain the same way that real coffee aroma does and help you stay awake throughout the day?

Coffee perfume is no replacement for coffee

To answer the question, we'd like to cite the results of Well+Good's writer Marissa DeSantis' non-scientific experiment. To test the real effects of coffee-scented products on her brain, DeSantis ditched her morning coffee fix for coffee-scented scrub and perfume. On Monday — the first day of her experiment — DeSantis exfoliated her skin with a body scrub infused with a vibrant espresso scent made from Sumatra coffee beans. "I wouldn't say that I felt the same energy going into my day as I do after my usual coffee, but I felt awake and ready to work," says DeSantis. DeSantis notes she was foggier and more irritated than normal as the day unfolded, but luckily she didn't have the dreaded caffeine-withdrawal headache.

To power through day two without the taste of coffee, DeSantis spritzed on a coffee-scented perfume that evokes the sweet aroma of a latte. And like day one, the withdrawal process made DeSantis feel weary and cranky.  Days three, four, and five were similar in that DeSantis switched between the scrub and the scent and felt irritated for the most part of the day. "I wasn't particularly tired or energized, but smelling coffee-like scents definitely wasn't a replacement for drinking actual coffee," DeSantis concludes. The writer also notes that while she genuinely enjoyed using the coffee-scented products and would continue using them, she didn't feel that the smelling part alone improved her work performance or enhanced her alertness.

How to make coffee air freshener at home

If you can't drink coffee but you feel invigorated and comforted by the smell of it, using coffee-scented products is a good shout. Aside from coffee-scented scrubs and perfumes, you can introduce the aroma of coffee into your home by making a coffee-scented air freshener. 

To make a chemical-free, coffee-emitting air freshener, Get Green Be Well's green living and healthy home expert Kimberly Button recommends making an air freshener with two-thirds of a cup of whole coffee beans, leftover coffee grinds, or fresh ground coffee; two tablespoons of molasses; two or three cinnamon sticks; and six cups of filtered water. 

For a start, fill a large pot with the water, and add all of the other ingredients. Then, stir them together for a moment to help the molasses dissolve. The next step is to bring the pot to a simmer. After one or two hours of simmering, let the pot cool for a pleasant coffee aroma.