Studies have reported that men respond to smells differently than women do. Most of the difference seems to relate to pheromone response and sexual arousal. Little is known about how aromatherapy effects are specifically different for men, but it has been suggested that they could differ according to gender and even by individual. Therefore, just because a certain scent causes a woman to feel relaxed doesn’t mean that her male partner will have the same response. Because little is known about how aromatherapy effects differ for men, trial and error can often be the best approach. However, a few basic guidelines are helpful.
Bitter and dull scents for men
Some aromatherapy wisdom suggests that men should avoid bitter and dull scents. However, on the opposite side of this coin, bitter scents might be useful for men who frequently experience anger or rage. In that case, a bitter scent could improve overall mood and promote the avoidance response.
Masculine scents and personal preference
Many men stray from aromatherapy altogether simply because they don’t want to smell like a flower or because they believe that any scent other than sweat is meant for women. Generally, most men aren’t attracted to fruity or floral scents for themselves, but they might enjoy stronger, more masculine scents like patchouli, ginger, black pepper, sandalwood, oak moss and citrus should they give them a chance. Vanilla is often considered a somewhat feminine scent, but some men respond well to a vanilla-based essential oil. While some assumptions can be made about gender and scent response, many believe that personal preference plays a much larger role than differences between the sexes.
Arousing vs. calming scents for men
Not surprisingly, many men are more interested in using aromatherapy to ignite their sex lives than to promote relaxation or well-being. Many find scents like agarwood and jasmine oil to be powerful aphrodisiacs. These scents could be used in a diffuser in the bedroom or as part of an erotic massage. Jasmine oil is even thought to alleviate sexual problems like impotence. However, whether they’re willing to admit it or not, many men could also stand to benefit from some rest and relaxation. Aromatherapy scents believed to promote relaxation in men include lavender and rosemary. While these are generally considered more feminine scents, many men respond well when they’re used in the home or in a massage.
As you can see, while aromatherapy effects are likely different for men than they are for women, the extent of this variance is unknown and might be more about the individual response and preference than gender. The best way for anyone to determine which types of scents relax or excite him is simply by trying them out. Remember, even traditionally feminine scents can promote positive responses in men and therefore shouldn’t be overlooked for aromatherapy purposes.