As a perfume obsessive, it never occurred to me that wearing fragrances to bed could be a “thing” and, in fact, not a sin of any kind.

Even before the era of sleep masks and white noise machines, iconic figures like Marilyn Monroe embraced a more glamorous approach to bedtime. The renowned actress openly admitted to adorning herself with nothing but Chanel No. 5 before sleep, turning her nightly routine into a lavish ritual.

While some may view this sensory practice as frivolous, perhaps our ancestors recognised the significance of bedtime fragrances for achieving true “beauty sleep”.

So, instead of doom-scrolling for an hour or so, why not spritz some perfume on yourself just before you nestle into your cosy bed sheets and drift off to sleep?

You might be pleasantly surprised to wake up feeling more refreshed and in higher spirits the following day!

Why is Everyone Wearing Perfume to Bed?

@perfumedisco

Do you wear bedtime perfumes? #bedtimeperfume #perfumesforbed #perfume #fragrance #perfumetok #ifiwasyourbestie #perfumetiktok #perfumetip

♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

In recent #PerfumeTok news, netizens (or rather, Gen Zs) are wearing fragrances right before hitting the hay and we’re here to tell you that this practice is not as absurd as you may think.

Currently, TikTok is flooded with videos featuring “bedtime fragrances,” with some of them garnering up to 60k views!

The topic of sleeping with fragrance has sparked numerous discussions on Fragrantica, an online community dedicated to perfume enthusiasts. This widespread interest further highlights the appeal of incorporating fragrance into our bedtime routines.

However, this idea and the fragrant pursuit of slumber aren’t new. In the 1940s, fashion icon Elsa Schiaparelli pushed boundaries with her fragrance “Sleeping”. This wasn’t your average bedtime companion — shaped like a candle with a conical snuffer, it promised wearers vivid, fantastical dreams.

Schiaparelli’s ad campaign even hinted at “lighting the way to ecstasy,” showcasing the playful and alluring side of bedtime scents.

Even the surrealist artist Salvador Dali embraced the practice. A notorious advocate for the unconventional, Dali reportedly had his wife place perfume-soaked cotton balls on his eyes before bed, seeking olfactory stimulation to fuel his artistic imagination during sleep.

Related read: Smell Fabulously Unique With These Must-Try Fragrance Layering Combos For 2024!

Improving the Quality of Sleep

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

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Fragrance specialist Eudora Nwasike, certified by The Fragrance Foundation, told Refinery29 that the recipe for a good night’s rest is clean bedding, good air quality, the perfect room temperature, and perfume.

Applying your favourite scent to pulse points or linens can serve as a self-care ritual and enhance the quality of our sleep.

Nwasike further elaborated that the act of utilising fragrances for wellness purposes has ancient roots, tracing back to the Greeks and Romans who used lavender to address sleep issues. This historical practice is backed by contemporary scientific studies.

Recent research from 2021 indicates that lavender oil can effectively alleviate insomnia and tiredness, with another study showcasing the benefits of aromatherapy using essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and neroli in reducing anxiety and enhancing sleep quality for individuals.

Related read: Medi-scents Are the New Fragrance Trend That Are More About Improving Your Overall Well-being – Here’s What You Need to Know About It

Influencing Your Dreams

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

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Bedtime perfume enthusiasts claim that these fragrances have the ability to calm the mind and help us relax into sleep, thanks to the complex nature of our sense of smell.

Research has shown that certain scents can evoke particular emotional reactions; for example, clary sage is often linked to feelings of tranquillity, while citrus scents are known for their invigorating properties.

The direct connection between the olfactory bulb and the limbic system, which is responsible for emotions and memory, explains why scents can evoke strong memories and emotions.

Although bedtime perfumes may not dictate the content of your dreams, they can certainly influence the overall mood or trigger specific memories that may manifest in your dreams.

“Functional fragrances” aren’t anything new. According to Suzy Nightingale, fragrance expert and co-host of On the Scent podcast, brands have pumped millions of dollars into funding research for “perfumes with the sole purpose of positively influencing our mood and emotions at bedtime”.

From luxury brands like Vyrao and wellness brand The Nue Co. to even products fashioned by supermodel Kate Moss (COSMOSS), it seems as though everyone’s already on the “wellness fragrance train”.

So, truth be told, using bedtime fragrances shouldn’t be such a shock, right?

Related read: 15 Top “Gen Z Fragrances” and What the Wild, Boundary-Breaking Bunch Look for in Perfumes

Forming Deeper Connections and Levels of Intimacy

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

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According to Nick Gilbert, the creative director of Eau de Boujee and Boujee Bougies, perfume is considered “liquid emotion” and has the ability to elevate any emotional state.

“The sense of smell is crucial in human attraction and intimacy. Combining olfactory notes with human pheromones can influence sexual attraction and compatibility,” shared Stina Seger, creative director and founder of BIBBI Parfums.

Research supports this idea, with a 2021 study showing that our scent affects how attractive we appear to others. This suggests that wearing bedtime fragrances can be empowering and create an even deeper connection during intimate and romantic encounters.

Bedtime fragrances not only promote relaxation, making you and your partner more open to physical and emotional intimacy, but they can also evoke positive memories and strengthen your bond, creating a special ritual for a relaxed connection.

Related read: Couple Fragrances That Will Make Valentine’s Day Date Night More Perfect

What Are People Saying: to Spray or Not?

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Credits: @erineaufraiche/TikTok, @natashaestelle/TikTok

Still a sceptic? If you think about it, you’re starting and ending your day in the same way by wearing perfume in the morning and at night which kind of makes for a nice ritual.

On The Standard, perfume expert and creative director of Diem scents Lizzie Ostrom said the quiet, downtime moments before bed are ideal for focusing on scent since we won’t be so distracted by our days and are entering a transition zone per se.

Something as personable as bedtime fragrances should be approached with self-love and the right kind of perspective too.

“If your mindset is that perfume is part of beauty and feeling attractive, or that you’ve got to do it to keep up with some elaborate ritual, then don’t do it. It should never get to a point where it feels oppressive, I would want to resist that,” Ostrom added.

While some say that it’s a waste (especially when you’re spraying from a S$300 perfume bottle), most of the online community is in favour of bedtime fragrances.

Last year, when TikToker @perfumedisco posted a video on bedtime fragrances, many netizens rushed to leave their agreeable comments. One said that their aunt wears perfume to bed because it “has made her have better sleep”.

Another user shared, “I have to wear perfume to bed – it helps me sleep. I’m such a princess when it comes to bedtime”. Meanwhile, someone commented that they have a whole box of night perfume oils.

Now, of course, bedtime fragrances aren’t just for women and everyone has different reasons for doing it. Why not start by using it as a way to enhance your self-care routine and sleep rituals?

Give yourself a light misting of your chosen fragrance before bed! Just make sure you’re not using a perfume that may cause allergies or skin sensitivities.

Related read: Fragrance Trends 2024: Scent Your Way Into the New Year With the Hottest Notes and Perfumes

How Do You Choose a Bedtime Perfume?

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

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Considering the price of most perfumes and how each specific scent calls for a different feeling, your usual signature scent may not cut it.

If you’re looking for a fragrance to help you unwind before bed, it’s worth considering something more calming.

While lavender is an obvious choice, neroli is another fantastic option to explore. It has a light and refreshing citrus scent with subtle undertones of honey and orange. Not only is neroli known for its stress-relieving properties, but it can also help lower blood pressure.

Jasmine is another note that offers a sweet aroma and numerous benefits. It can help clear the mind, reduce stress, and boost alertness during the day.

Meanwhile, Ayurvedic medicine has long utilised creamy and soothing sandalwood to treat fatigue, anxiety, and insomnia. This note is also widely popular and a key ingredient in highly raved fragrances like Sol de Janeiro Cheriosa 62, Le Labo Santal 33 Eau de Parfum, and Byredo Mojave Ghost Eau de Parfum.

Other comforting notes to look for include vanilla and ylang-ylang. You can also experiment with “warmer” scents like musk and wood which can be calming and make you feel like you’re being cocooned.

Bonus tip: If you want the scent to stay till the next morning, go for an eau de parfum which usually has a better staying power. For a lighter scent and only when you drift off to sleep, use an eau de toilette.

Related read: AI Fragrances: Can They Replace Perfumers and Iconic Scents?

16 Recommended Bedtime Fragrances

En route to finding your perfect bedtime fragrance like I am? Check out the ones I’ve researched, sniffed, and shortlisted below!

Glossier You Eau de Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Crafted as a personalised skin scent enhancer, this perfume has the ability to adapt to the wearer’s natural scent and seamlessly melds with your skin to create a scent that is distinctly yours: soft, warm, and familiar.

It has a blend of sparkling top notes including peppercorns and white florals, complemented by a warm and slightly sweet center.

Plus, it’s developed by the creators of Le Labo’s beloved Santal 33, so you can be sure of the quality you’ll be investing in.

Glossier You Eau de Parfum retails for RM414 instead of RM460 at Zalora, at the time of writing.

Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza Eau de Cologne

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Experience a modern twist on the timeless Colonia scent with Colonia Essenza.

This citrus and woody fragrance exudes a bold personality, enhancing its classic freshness with the inclusion of floral notes such as grapefruit, mandarin, and petit grain.

These elements harmonise seamlessly with a vibrant woody patchouli base, adding sophistication and elegance to the cologne’s overall character.

Additionally, the blend of citrus, lavender, rosemary, and jasmine causes a calming and soothing effect on the mind.

Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza Eau de Cologne retails for RM690 (50ml) and RM960 (100ml) at escentials. It’s also available for RM911.30 (180ml) at Zalora.

Noteworthy n,818

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Inspired by Serendipity Day on August 18th, this fragrance celebrates the joy of realising the weekend is just around the corner.

Also known as “Almost Friday” and Noteworthy’s skin scent, this delicate eau de parfum blends the crispiness of juicy apple with jasmine, rosewood, and warm musk. It evokes nostalgia with musky and powdery notes, reminiscent of cherished moments like bedtime stories with loved ones.

The scent also captures the vibrant energy of transitioning into leisure mode — a great mood or phase to be in when you’re winding down from your day!

Noteworthy n,818 (100ml) retails for about RM665.97 (139.44 USD) at Noteworthy. Currently, they don’t ship to Malaysia but you can use postal forwarding services like vPost.

Maison Margiela Replica Bubble Bath Eau De Toilette

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Replica’s Bubble Bath is a nostalgic ode to the blissful tranquillity of soaking in a foamy bath where you can immerse yourself in the warm, scented water and feel your body release all tension.

This fragrance wraps you in a gentle cocoon of clean soap bubbles and delicate rose notes, enriched with soothing touches of coconut and white musk.

Experience a profound sense of serene comfort, capturing the essence of a universally cherished moment of personal relaxation.

TikToker @natashaestelle included this in her list of bedtime fragrances, noting that the scent “smells like a boujee sleep hygiene” and “like a luxurious soap they have in 5-star hotels”.

Maison Margiela Replica Bubble Bath Eau De Toilette (100ml) retails for RM600 instead of RM899 at Zalora, at the time of writing. It’s also available for S$659 at Sephora.

Aesop Tacit Eau de Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Tacit is a modern fragrance that exudes vibrancy and freshness; characterised by the generous infusion of basil grand vert and zesty citrus notes.

Its invigorating blend of citrus, basil, and vetiver makes it perfect for bedtime, offering a fresh and earthy aroma that promotes relaxation and tranquillity.

Aesop Tacit Eau de Parfum retails for RM560 (50ml) and RM880 (100ml) at Aesop. It’s also available for RM618 (50ml) instead of RM936 at Zalora, at the time of writing.

Vilhelm Parfumerie Room Service

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

For the ultimate luxurious bedtime routine, go for Parisian luxury brand Vilhelm Parfumerie’s Room Service which also happens to be Victoria Beckham’s favourite perfume. What could be more posh?

It draws a glamorous image of icon Greta Garbo at the Carlyle Hotel, adorned in satin and anticipating a bath filled with flower petals.

The fragrance opens with vibrant mandarin nectar and succulent blackberry before evolving into a heart of violet, bamboo, and delicate pink orchid. It’s also anchored by a base of musk, sandalwood, and rich black amber.

Vilhelm Parfumerie Room Service (100ml) retails for about RM1,275.21 (250€) at Vilhelm Parfumerie. It’s also available for about RM1,103.77 (SGD 314.02) at Beauty The Shop. Currently, they don’t ship to Malaysia but you can use postal forwarding services like vPost.

PHLUR Missing Person Eau de Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Imagine if “nude” had a scent — this would be it. This subtle yet captivating fragrance recalls the lingering aroma of your lover’s skin, perfect for those who are missing your partner at night.

The fragrance is brought to life with comforting white musk, delicate floral hints of jasmine and radiant orange blossom, and a whisper of gentle transparent woods.

PHLUR Missing Person Eau de Parfum (50ml) retails for about RM544.82 (SGD 155) at Selfridges and for RM507.55 at Nordstrom.

Ariana Grande R.E.M. Eau De Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Ariana Grande’s perfumes were quite popular as bedtime fragrances amongst TikTok users. Other than Cloud EDP, which is also a Gen Z favourite, R.E.M. is also a great choice.

No surprise there — after all, REM sleep is one of four stages the brain moves through while sleeping.

Inspired by the pop star’s fascination with outer space and the cosmos, this scent transports you to the stars, making you feel capable of conquering the galaxy.

This floral and woody fragrance entices with a cosmic fusion of juicy fig and warm salted caramel before elevating your senses into ethereal realms with lavender essence.

Who knows, maybe this bedtime fragrance will have you dreaming of things that are out of this world!

Ariana Grande R.E.M. Eau De Parfum (50ml) retails for RM432 at Zalora.

Pleasing Closeness Eau de Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Newly launched just last year by the darling Harry Styles’ brand Pleasing, this perfume boasts a top note of “clean sheets accord”.

This woody musk scent also features Australian pink pepper and cardamom, followed by orris butter, carrot seed, and bamboo heart notes.

You might find this fragrance smells like bed linen that was just washed.

Pleasing Closeness Eau de Parfum (100ml) retails for about RM773.30 (SGD220) at Selfridges.

Serge Lutens Sa Majesté La Rose Eau de Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Who says your bed and room can’t smell like a bed of roses?

In tribute to the regal rose, Serge Lutens’ Sa Majesté La Rose fragrance harmoniously blends roses sourced from Turkey, Bulgaria, and Morocco to produce its rich floral aroma.

While the essence of rose predominates, hints of clove, white honey, and musk intertwine to provide a delicately sweet undertone, culminating in a captivating olfactory experience.

Plus, this bedtime fragrance is housed in a dome-shaped flacon which adds to that “pre-bedtime ritual for royalty” aesthetic.

Serge Lutens Sa Majesté La Rose Eau de Parfum (75ml) retails for about RM1,609.68 (USD 337) at Harrods.

BYREDO Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Gypsy Water celebrates the allure of Romani culture, embracing its rich customs, intimate beliefs, and distinct way of life.

This fragrance invokes a vision of a vibrant lifestyle shaped by inherent nomadism, which creates a warm and comforting aroma (contrary to the typical image of “comfort in your own home”).

With woody hints of pine needle and sandalwood, complemented by bold amber and refreshing citrus, it evokes the exhilaration of gypsy nights spent amidst the forest.

BYREDO Gypsy Water Eau de Parfum retails for RM1,109.96 (50ml) at Zalora.

Jones Road Shower

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

ICYMI, Jones Road was founded by makeup artist Bobbi Brown to offer clean, strategic, and high-grade formulations designed to work effectively on every skin type and tone.

It’s all based on a simple yet powerful philosophy: the world doesn’t need more beauty products; it needs better ones.

The brand’s debut fragrance is said to smell as good as a shower feels and like you’ve just stepped out of the shower. This timeless scent has notes of neroli, orange blossom, and sea spray.

Jones Road Shower (30ml) retails for about RM200.61 (USD 42) at Jones Road. Currently, they don’t ship to Malaysia but you can use postal forwarding services like vPost.

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

And just like that…Sex and the City, anyone? Launched by the design house of Sarah Jessica Parker in 2005, this woody musk fragrance has precious oils, lavender, orchid, amber, apple martini, paper, and white musk.

YouTuber and cell biologist Claire Smith, who’s best known for her beloved videos on all things perfumery, listed this fragrance as one of her top relaxing and calming perfumes to wear to bed.

She shared that the fragrance makes her think of clean linens, restful hotel rooms, and a really good night’s sleep (led by the soft lavender note).

Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker (200ml) retails for RM300 instead of RM450 at Luxury Perfume, at the time of writing.

Memo Paris Sherwood Eau De Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

If you’re into forest-like scents, this fragrance is right up your alley.

Imagine an age-old Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood once roamed. This scintillating woody scent features notes of oak, cedar, carrot oil, and sandalwood.

There’s also a burst of berries and flowers in the form of damascena rose, orange flower absolute, and blackcurrant bud absolute.

YouTuber Cherayeslifestyle showcased Memo Sherwood in a video and said this beautiful and powdery fragrance is very comforting for bedtime.

Memo Paris Sherwood Eau De Parfum (75ml) retails for about RM1,353.02 (SGD385) at Selfridges. It’s also available for about RM1,234.97 (SGD351.41) at Beauty The Shop, where you can get a forwarding service like vPost for delivery.

Rituals The Ritual of Jing Hair & Body Mist

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

What about indulging in tranquillity? This mist is infused with the serene essence of sacred lotus and the soothing benefits of jujube (a staple in Chinese medicine).

Spritz this onto your hair, body, or sheets to be enveloped in a calming aura with heightened relaxation and a night of peaceful sleep!

Its formula is free from alcohol and safe for all textiles (no stains) and sensitive skin.

Rituals The Ritual of Jing Hair & Body Mist (50ml) retails for RM110 at Rituals.

Serge Lutens Matin Lutens L’eau Eau de Parfum

bedtime fragrances, wearing perfume to bed

Likened to freshly laundered clothes and the scent of steam from ironing linen, L’Eau Serge Lutens beckons us to rediscover a world where true luxury begins with cleanliness.

Definitive and uncompromising, it challenges the notion of perfume as a mere hygiene or social convention. When this fragrance was first launched, it was rather revolutionary (so much that they called it the “anti-perfume”).

It captures the essence of morning essentials. Think water, bath, and a touch of fragrance.

Serge Lutens Matin Lutens L’eau Eau de Parfum (100ml) retails for RM947 at Ubuy. You can also use a forwarding service like vPost to get this fragrance for about RM741.52 (SGD 211) at escentials and Tangs.

Featured image credit: @jess_devine/TikTok, @laraisabellema/TiktTok, @danicolexx/Tiktok

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