Lavender is the coriander of the scent world so PLEASE STOP PUTTING IT IN EVERYTHING.

So… here’s my issue.

We live in a world where through wide-spread marketing sleepy time products are inextricably interlinked with the scent of lavender. This is a problem for two main reasons.

1. People that dislike lavender need sleep too.

2. Lavender stinks. Really badly.

Think I’m being ridiculous?

I am not alone. There is a strong, passionate, sleep-deprived community of us out there. In fact, it’s like the coriander of the scent world.

No no no no no no NO. (Image: Getty)

It's recommended for those with epilepsy and prone to seizures to straight out avoid the stuff, while in others it might trigger hay fever symptoms, feelings of nausea, or perhaps you straight out hate it. That's ok, this is a safe space.

The problem is that brands have aggressively tied any product promising easier sleep with the darn purple flower when it doesn't have to be. There are many sleep-inducing scents that are warm, woodsy, grounding and don't smell like a soap shop, and they have been ignored for too long goddammit.


The popular note in men's fragrance, the grassy scent is great for relaxation and grounding. For those that get restless as soon as it hits bedtime, rubbing a few drops of vetiver oil on the soles of the feet can help. And why feet? The pores down there are larger and have improved, faster absorbency - the more you know!

Ylang ylang

A lighter, sweeter floral for those that still want something feminine and flowery, but hate lavender, there's a reason why you often see this mixed in with sleepy time scents. To make your own pillow spray, simply mix the ylang-ylang essential oil (10 drops or so), and any others like rose or vanilla, in a bottle with two parts witch hazel, or vodka, and six parts water.

Listen: When bedtime goes bad, how to get your child to sleep. (Post continues after audio...)


Woody, sweet, and spicy, the very popular scent calms and soothes and is said to be great for the skin. Utilise both aromatherapy and touch therapy by messaging the oil onto your acupressure points - behind your ears, wrists, toes, ankles and temples.



This dreamy, sweet, and delicious scent does more than just smell great, and is proven to be relaxing. A study done at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital (New York City) confirmed that patients reported 63 per cent less overall anxiety when undergoing MRI scans with the scent of vanilla present. Take that lavender.


Similar to lavender, this woody, and slightly citrus scent contains linalool and linalyl acetate which is loaded with relaxing properties without the divisive scent. It's even said to reduce cortisol (the hormone your body creates when stressed) in the saliva, making it great for those prone to anxiety too.


You might have heard of people taking melatonin for sleeping issues, and cedarwood essential oil does a similar thing in that it stimulates the pineal gland which produces melatonin. According to, it recommended to put a drop of the grounding, rich scent between your forehead and brow, and another on each wrist (three fingers down to hit that acupressure point) just before sleep.


Last on the list, this one isn't for the faint-hearted. Described by some as smelling like a dog's doo-doo, and like sewerage, the plant has been used as a ye old insomnia cure since the days of Shakespeare and is still used in homoeopathic cures. Avoid scenting your sleep space, and instead ingest its benefits through a warming cup of tea or in pill form.

Do you agree, should lavender be banished forevermore? Let us know in the comments...