Help! A wake-up scent for the mid-afternoon slump

This from a bone-chilling day earlier in the month: Forty degrees outside at 1:30 p.m. The heating system is roaring like a house afire struggling to keep the temp at 70-something for all the cold-natured ladies in the office. It’s an hour past lunch and I’m in my cubicle doing my level best to keep from nodding off as I look over what appears to be a never-ending sea of type on my pages. I really need a dousing of cold water but that isn’t exactly practical. I’ve tried caffeine and it’s helping a little, but I need something more. Maybe what’s called for is a loud, lively, olfactory shock to my wake up scentsystem. I’m all alone in my four-cubicle room and can shut the door, so anything goes as far as a wake-up scent.
Hmmm … what’ll do the trick?

First thing to pop into my brain: Serge Lutens’ Tubereuse Criminelle. That camphorous blast ought to be enough to get my gray matter (and everything else) revving. Amouage Interlude Woman also sprang to mind. Its chameleon-like nature might keep me on my toes by keeping me guessing. But unless liberally sprayed, it might be too low-key for an effective wake-up scent.

What about a healthy spritz of Neela Vermeire’s Bombay Bling? That could work, although its bright, joyous spirit might have me up and dancing like I was in a big Bollywood musical number (“Bride & Prejudice,” anyone?). However, I would be in the doghouse big-time for causing a commotion in our very quiet office. 🙁

Keep thinking, keep thinking. There’s got to be some others.

OK, got it — a hit of Carnal Flower’s gorgeousness would surely dazzle me into alertness, right?

Or going in the other direction, perhaps a really potent, fumigation-grade fruity floral (you can’t doze off while you’re gagging, can you?). Off the top of my head, I can’t think of one that fits the bill, but I’m sure you guys could nominate a few.

What do you think would work for a middle of the day wake-up scent?

57 Comments
Suzanne March 19, 2013

Hi Ann. Oh, I think your pick of Carnal Flower would really do the trick. I also agree with the commenter above who said Vero Mito and those who suggested mint ... in fact, how about Frederic Malle Geranium Pour Monsieur? The mint in that is so bracing, I don't know how it couldn't wake you up! ;)

ojaddicte March 19, 2013

How about Mito? I got a chance to sample it courtesy a kind fairy grandmother, and the opening is bright and lemony.

Merlin March 18, 2013

A few Aqua Allegorias have been mentioned - but not Herba Fresca. HF has a nice refreshing mint note that can help. Another is Chanel Christalle eau Verte (tea and lemon). And a third is Infusion d' Iris which always helps me feel collected. Oh, and one that may work is Le Malle due to the fresh barbershop mint and powerful vanilla. This one also works for me just because I find it quite joyous!

Ninara Poll March 18, 2013

Something citrusy? I can't think of anything good off the top of my head... I know a few weeks back I scored a scent bar Sunswept body mist on clearance at Target; its official description has "notes of Sicilian orange with sheer lemon & bergamot", and in its opening stages it is decidedly orangey. It turns weirdly annoying on me in the middle -- super sweet floral + something oddly synthetic (I've spritzed it on both the parents and it doesn't happen on them, so it seems to be a skin chemistry issue) -- but the drydown is okay, and on me it never seems to lose the citrus notes, and it does seem to energize me. I'm wishing I had shelled out for the body lotion and other ancillary products! The only other notes I can think of for invigoration would be mint or rosemary (rosemary is a scent that I find stimulating). Perhaps something with both? I'm trying to think of something nice with either note... maybe some straight peppermint oil or rosemary oil in a carrier base? I used to use a few drops of rosemary eo diluted with water as a refreshing mist.... Good luck with finding something to revive yourself! NP

maggiecat March 18, 2013

I'd try either Jo Malone Grapefruit or (my favorite) Chanel's cologne. Lemony citrus goodness will help us stay awake through those long afternoons!

alityke March 18, 2013

Astringent and citric chypres are called for in this situation. I suggest EL Azuree or her brother Aramis, Sisley Eau de Soir, Givenchy III or possibly vintage Ivoire. Pure citrus? Got to be the perfect photorealistic AA Pamplelune... whoosh!

Georgette Stout March 18, 2013

i have found Balmain's Vent Vert to be quite the "waker-upper"!

Anita March 18, 2013

How about gentle but bright, sparkling and lively Xerjoff Ibitira (or less gentle, bright sparkling and lively Shingl?)

arline March 18, 2013

I cant help you at all, as I am a believer in napping in the afternoon!!! I do not want to be swayed in any way shape or form to energize until my nap is over!!!

FeralJasmine March 18, 2013

My current favorites for a perk-up are Chanel 19 when I need a shot of fizz, SSS Winter Woods (even in summer) when I need clean clear focus, and Bulgari Black when I need my attention gotten in a big way and nothing else works. I would think that SSS Incense Pure might be a good centering scent for when I'm scattered and distracted.

Dina C. March 18, 2013

I think Green scents with a note of galbanum are very brisk and bracing. That's what a choose when I need to sweep the floors, or do some heavy lifting around the house. Suggestions include: no. 19, PG Papyrus De Ciane, Bel Respiro, Jacomo Silences, and AG Heure Exquise. I remember those post-lunch-time days in the office, trying to get myself to wake up with a combination of a cup of strong tea and an interesting project. :-) Good luck!

solanace March 18, 2013

My baby really, reallly did not sleep the day I wore Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine. So it is tested, with no scientific method orstatistical relevance, but tested nevertheless: Orange Sanguine is very (oh, did I sing that day... I mean VERY) potent in this respect.

australianperfumejunkies March 18, 2013

What about a savage burst of FENDI Donna or Mahora by Guerlain? They should shock you awake. Portia xx

Elena March 18, 2013

Guerlain AA Mandarine Basilic does the trick for me. Also Hermes Un Jardin Apres la Mousson. Tell those cold natured ladies in your office to get a warmer sweater and turn the heat down! I would be fast asleep and with extra dry skin to boot at 70 something!

eldarwen22 March 18, 2013

Usually, Mitsouko or no. 19 does the trick for me. If it is really bad, Obsession.

Jennifer Smith March 18, 2013

For mint notes ..Hmm.. Opium Pour Homme ,BBW Twisted Peppermint ,Un Air de Samsara? Except Samsara has a lot of sandalwood and jasmine in it and that always sooths me off to zzzzzzzzzzzz. Okay maybe a bracing citrus or tea scent? Bvlgari Au Rouge ,Black, or if you can find it Urban Rituelle Siam Ginger(smells like Orange spice by celestial seasonings).

Tiara March 18, 2013

Peppermint and mint first came to mind but I have to admit that I cannot think of any perfume I own (or have ever worn) with those notes front and center. Falling asleep is hard for me so I search for relaxing scents. Not helpful, I know, but anxious to see what others recommend.

Lynne Marie March 18, 2013

It's sort of a fruit bomb from another planet but it never fails to make me giggle ( which SHOULD wake you up, right?) Badgely Mischka would be my scent of choice. It's so tactlessly in your face but fun at the same time!

Red March 18, 2013

This are awesome thoughts and well written blog. I heard good and bad things about Interlude Woman but so many great reviews on Carnal Flower, made me wonder. As again I have no idea how these all smells except the beautiful Tuberose Criminelle and Histoires Tuberose Animale. Maybe they would work on a spray or two as to wake up that beautiful sleepy soul. Has any of you tried Amouage Lyric and Memoir Woman? How's your experiences with it? Cheers.

Sonya Pickens March 18, 2013

I don't know which perfume yet (I'm a newbie!), but I know I would lean to something very grapefruity. Grapefruit scented anything always seems to wake me up!

Lisa D March 18, 2013

My vote goes to Tauer Cologne du Maghreb - a blast of citrus and turpentine that comes perilously close to some sort of lemony spray cleaner....but stops just short of that and then turns in an entirely different direction.

rosarita March 18, 2013

That's a time when I like fresh and clean; bracing, if you will. Serge's Bas de Soie is cold and refreshing; Bulgari Eau Perfumee Au The Blanc is clean & fresh. PG Yuzu Ab Irato would be a contender for it's mintiness but it disappears too quickly.

Jan Last March 18, 2013

How about going the other way? Instead of the killers to wake you up, maybe you could go totally tropical....Creed Virgin Island Water, Accord Parfait Hesperide, Miller Harris Tangerine Vert, Serge Lutens Fleurs de Citronnier. or even a little Lubin Gin Fizz just to drag the office into spring.