To Dream or not To Dream: Sleep Scents


Under normal circumstances (bar sickness and problems of cosmic proportions, such as a broken umbrella) I’m a sound sleeper. Even loudly meowing cat cannot disturb my peace in the morning. But to fall asleep I need 15-20 minutes of full darkness and silence. I’ve never dozed off while watching TV or reading a book. I have to cease all activities, turn off everything – and only then I can sleep. The smallest noise or light bothers me: ticking clocks on the wall, humming cleaning machines at the supermarket down the block or flickering lights of a wireless router kept me sleepless for hours.

Scents do not bother me. I wouldn’t probably spray myself lavishly with Shalimar before going to bed (ok, strike everything after the perfume name) but I always enjoy remains of the perfume I wore earlier coming from my skin or hair as I’m drifting off to sleep.

The second type of perfumes I enjoy wearing to bed: perfumes that I actually designate as sleep scents. Usually those are perfumes that I like as scents but do not often wear as perfumes. I’m not sure what exactly sets them apart from perfumes I wear in my everyday life but I do have that category in my perfume collection.

Sonoma Scent Studio To Dream

The first fragrance that I defined for myself as a sleep scent was To Dream by Sonoma Scent Studio – created in 2011 by Laurie Erickson, notes include violet, rose, heliotrope, cedar, amber, frankincense, oakwood absolute, vetiver, tonka, orris, vanilla, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss absolute, subtle suede, cocoa and aldehydes. I do not know if the name lead me into it or if it happened on its own but To Dream became one of my favorite sleep scents.

Like many others Sonoma Scent Studio’s perfumes, To Dream is too concentrated for me to use from the spray bottle so I usually decant it into a dab vial and apply a little before going to bed. If you follow the link above you’ll find many links to other bloggers’ reviews so I won’t even try to describe the scent. I just want to say that if you haven’t tried it yet you should. I really like the travel spray option: yes, it’s more expensive per ml but it’s a very chic atomizer and with 20-24% concentration those 5 ml will last you forever.

SSS Fig Tree Shea Cream

Recently Birgit (Olfactoria’s Travels) introduced the “new idea” from Parfums d’Orsayalcohol-free hydrating perfume. It reminded me of another amazing product from Sonoma Scent Studio – shea body creams. For the last year I’ve been using Fig Tree shea cream from time to time as my night hand lotion/sleep scent (though I love wearing Fig Tree perfume as my daytime perfume as well – see my In the Search for the Perfect Fig). Shea creams will be available soon on the site (they are seasonal items). Don’t miss them because they will be gone until the next holiday season.


Do you wear perfumes to bed?



Images: my own


48 thoughts on “To Dream or not To Dream: Sleep Scents

  1. We sound somewhat similar in our sleep habits. I could sleep through almost anything. I also like full sensory deprivation when I’m falling asleep – the least light and sound possible. Usually for me though, that extends to smell. Wearing perfume to bed doesn’t appeal to me for the most part. Recently I have tried doing it, with Tableau de Parfums Miriam and Esprit d’Oscar. I seem to crave those scents at night time. Experimenting with wearing perfume to bed has been fine, but mostly it seems like a waste of my perfume. I’m guessing that’s because unlike you I tend to fall asleep very quickly, so I’m not enjoying the scent for very long. It makes more sense if I spray a few hours before bed, after I get my daughter down for the night.

    Actually, though, while typing this comment up, I realize that for years I have used scented hand cream before bed to keep my hands soft, so maybe I’m not as into sensory deprivation as I was thinking at first. I stock up on mini Bath and Body Works lotions and use those. I really should try more niche/high quality creams like that of Sonoma Scent Studio for that purpose.


    • Oh! Miriam is probably one of those scents that will become my sleep scent. I tried it on a couple of occations and, while I do not want to wear it, I like smelling it from my wrist.

      As to SSS’s body products, I haven’t tried to use lotions so I do not know if they provide enough moisturizing effect but the cream is very rich and will last you for a while.


  2. It takes me a good 15 minutes to fall asleep as well. I have to have complete silence and darkness. I wear earplugs. I am also a light sleeper.

    I wear L’Heure Bleue to bed the most, almost every night. But I also love SSS Lieu de Reves and every once in a while, I sleep in the suede-y comfiness of ELDO’s Vraie Blond. Funny, I must associate L’Heure Bleue with bedtime enough that I can spray it when stressed and feel soothed.

    I cannot (sorry Marilyn) wear my beloved Chanel No.5 to bed. It’s one of my favorites, so I’m surprised. I also cannot wear chypres to bed. Don’t know why.


    • I can’t use earplugs – my ears are too sensitive. But I can put another pillow over my ear. Too bad I can’t do that while flying ;)

      Lieu de Reves is the only SSS’s perfume that, somehow, I haven’t tried… I have no idea how that happened.


  3. I also need complete silence (or white noise), earplugs and total darkness to sleep. Sometimes I envy people (like my DH) who can fall asleep while watching TV, but usually I’m glad that I cannot because I never fall asleep at the wheel of a car! :) In general, I prefer to be scentless, but now I am intrigued by To Dream.


    • To Dream definitely wasn’t created as a sleep scent! But it’s worth trying anyway.

      I haven’t tried driving while being really sleepy so I do not know if I could fall asleep this way. But on a couple of occasions, as a passenger, I had a really hard time staying awake (but I did it to keep an eye on a driver ;) ).


  4. Your post made me go back to my mini-spray sets of SSS perfumes to see if I have To Dream. It was actually in my first set which had one spray vial that leaked on its way to me. I never bothered to find out which one leaked and had immediately transferred all the mini-sprays to another box. The new box smelled good and still does so that every so often I would just open the box and snuff for a minute. Checking the volume of the sprays just now, I realized it was To Dream that leaked! All this to say that I like To Dream lots.

    Now, as to sleep scents, I don’t use any… nor do I use any scented body lotion. Also, I usually cannot fall asleep if it is too quiet nor do I sleep to music…I actually have news radio with a 30 minute sleep timer. Since I have never changed the radio station after I initially set it, in the summer, I sometimes fall asleep to a NY Yankees game :-).


  5. I can’t sleep without light. we have big huntsman spiders here in Sydney and a few times in my life I’ve woken up to the prickling of their legs on my skin as they wander my body. I need LIGHT!!
    I also need sound, the more traffic noise the better, currently living back in the suburbs and I have to artificially have some noise going.
    Weird huh?
    Whatever has arrived the week before will often be my bed scent, or Chanel No 5
    Portia xx


    • If there were real spiders in here I would have been sleeping in a space suit.

      I never wear to bed anything I haven’t tested before: I don’t want to be stuck with something I’d rather scrabbed off.


  6. Like you, I need absolute darkness to fall asleep, but I also need some noise in the form of white noise. I love the sound of a fan and miss it when summer is gone, so will often take a portable fan and put in the walk in closet that is just off to my side of the bed, so I can enjoy the noise without having it blow on me. But now it’s getting too cold to even justify that, so I’m trying to listen to the furnace or the hum of the refrigerator downstairs to fall asleep by.

    As for perfumes, I love wearing them to bed and often choose one that has a creamy sandalwood or oriental base. I find that your beloved Heure Exquise is a dreamy thing to sleep in … I also enjoy sleeping in Parfums delRae Amoureuse, which is quite a thick scent with an amazing evolution, so when I wear it, I’m only half sleeping … I keep waking up at intervals, stirred by its beauty.


    • Amoureuse? Hm… Somehow I missed that perfume even though I read the name on multiple occasions. I’ll try to fix that.

      Heure Exquise has an unusual for AG tenacity so whenever I wear it during the day I get to enjoy it as my sleep scent as well.


  7. Pingback: Mini Sprays Update « Perfume in Progress

  8. I never put on fragrance for bed until I read about others doing so.. of course it gave me the chance to wear more perfume so I”m all about it. At night I typically go more feminine…P’dE’s Eau Suave was my favorite until I finished the bottle… now it’s George Sand. Sweet dreams U!


  9. I’m horrible at falling asleep, staying asleep, sleeping, full stop. I taught myself a self-hypnosis routine when I was very young, and it still helps me fall asleep sometimes (just a series of images that relax me and lead me to sleep), and if perfume plays a part in it probably No. 23 is the closest thing to a perfume accompaniment to it, though I sleep in Tihota at least as often.

    You nailed it with the cream idea, though: this fall I was able to get a jar of Amouage Memoir body cream (oh the hand-trembling luxury of it!) and I’ve been putting that on my legs and knees that are always cracking and itching, at night before I go to sleep. And I still smell absolutely delicious in the morning. So that has been my 2012 innovation in sleep scents. :-)

    You make me want to try To Dream. It sounds lovely, but I’ve never tried an SSS perfume that I liked. I’ll look out for this one…


    • In my opinion, To Dream is very typical for SSS, so if you didn’t like other perfumes from the brand I doubt you’ll like this one. But you should try Fig Tree and Forest Walk – those are quite different.

      One day I will buy either Amouage Gold or Amouage Dia cream: I love both scents and heard a lot praises to the quality of these creams.


  10. I cover myself in Caudalie’s Huile Divine before bed. It’s a new discovery and I like it more than lotion or body cream, both of which can make me break out if they are really thick.

    The smell is truly divine.


  11. It’s silly but after I have my evening bath and have washed away my sotd, I don’t want to re-apply more because I feel I’ve just got myself clean! I don’t see perfume as being “dirty” so not sure what that is all about. I’m certainly missing another opportunity to wear fragrance. I tried spraying it on my night-clothes but didn’t really like that either so no sleep scents for me I’m afraid.


    • I think you consider perfume a part of a make-up rather than a skin care routine so it makes perfect sense not to put on more after everything else is taken off. It’s like putting on a setting powder after applying a night time moisturizer.


  12. Thank you for this, my dear– just so’s you know, I added a link to you from my post about the gift of Sleep samples which Vali Bennis made to my exhausted, storm-worn coworkers. Sleep is something we are ALL short on right now, so these suggestions are extremely timely. (Sometimes chamomile tea is simply not enough.)


    • Meg, I was actually thinking of you and your insomnia when I was writing the post. I realize that what I’m writing about are #firstworldproblems. And I’m glad that there are scents that actually help people with real sleep problems.

      Thank you for the link!


  13. I sometimes do like to put something on before going to bed but for this purpose I usually like heavy fragrances and I find this rather weird. I love wearing Sarrasins to bed.


  14. I love your blog and have recently convinced my shy self that I need to comment more on blogs I read regularly.
    I just ordered SSS samples and am sorry I missed To Dream. Maybe in my next order, which will be a whopper as I have found several that I must have more of. I really wish I could try the SSS creams but several people I interact with are allergic to avocado and I don’t dare use products with avocado oil around them. I am usually a good sleeper and have adjusted to my husband’s need for noise. I banned the TV and suggested an audiobook playing quietly which seems to work, we have been falling asleep to the same Terry Pratchett book for about 8 weeks now and it is easy to tune out. I usually sleep with a fragrance unless I have a migraine. Favorites are Luctor et Emergo, Love and Tears, and recently SSS Rose Musc.


  15. Thank you for the information that the SSS shea creams will be available for holidays. I’m going to have to finally pull the trigger on an SSS order that I’ve been contemplating for months and months. I had never thought about sleep scents this way. I don’t think I have any scents that I wear just for sleeping. It’s an interesting idea, though.


  16. To Dream sounds like a great sleep scent. I have trouble falling and staying asleep. Most times I opt for something light like Kiss Me Tender. Though last night’s choice was Lonestar Memories which I haven chosen as a sleep scent on several occassions.


  17. I’m a light sleeper. It’s a curse.
    I do wear perfumes to sleep. To Dream is one of my favorite “bedtime” scents. I have also been wearing DSH Perfumes Sweet Dreams, a hazy lavender. I like things with vanilla, heliotrope, and “powdery” notes for sleeping.


  18. So happy to see one of Laurie’s creations….SSS is my all time favorite perfume house! Unfortunately I cannot wear perfume to bed (hubby would pitch a fit!)


    • I can suggest a small dab to the wrist: unless your hubby has an extra sensitive nose, it shouldn’t bother him – and you’ll be able to enjoy the scent. But even if you cannot do that, there are many hours in a day :)


  19. Pingback: People In Perfumeland – Jordan Thompson Of The Fragrant Man | Olfactoria's Travels

  20. I was wondering if you tried a Scent of a Dream by Charlotte Tilbury? I feel that it has a dreamy quality to is, but it is supposed not to put you to sleep, but to attract men :) So far no luck with the last part, but I am addicted to the smell. It appears to be unusual to me so was wondering what your opinion is.


    • I haven’t tried it but judging from the fact that one of its main components is Iso E Super and I happen to like this aromachemical, there’s a good chance that I’d like this perfume. As to the pheromones BS, as always, one should take that with a grain of salt ;)


  21. Pingback: Saturday Question: Do You Wear Perfume to Bed? – Undina's Looking Glass

What's on your mind? (I encourage posting relating links to your posts)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.