Here’s how the thought process usually goes for those of us who’ve gotten mid-day headaches at work: Ouch, my computer is too bright; someone’s ripping my head apart; it’s too late to go home now, there’s too much work, but I can’t concentrate.

Following this is an office-wide hunt for painkillers, and sometimes dabbing drops of medicated oil on the temples, behind the ears and at the back of the neck.

Here’s where the problem starts: While the spicy smell and tingling sensation of medicated oil  which is usually involves a potent mix of peppermint, camphor and menthol  gives you immediate relief, not everyone around you is a big fan.

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Thankfully though, many beauty brands have come up with aromatherapy roller ball serums and oils that give the same effects as medicated oil, but smell way more pleasant.

Here are four that I love:

#1 Aveda Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate
$32, available at all Aveda experience centres

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Image: Aveda

If you love the minty, tingling feeling that medicated oils have, this one gives the strongest sensation out of all on this list. Aveda’s Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate is a mix of peppermint and calming blue camomile that can help to relieve tension and ease tired muscles.

I like using the rollerball tip to press on the acupoints located on the shoulders, neck and temples to relieve muscle tension at work.

#2 Blissoma AntiStress Serum Roll-on
$22, available on

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Blissoma’s AntiStress Serum Roll-on has organic lavender and ginger on top of the usual peppermint oil for anti-nausea benefits. I love using this on nights when I have trouble sleeping. Apparently, it works well for mosquito bites, too!

#3 Mmerci Encore Afterglow Elixir
$32, available on

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Image: Mmerci encore

Okay, so maybe you hate the smell of peppermint. Try Mmerci Encore’s Afterglow Elixir instead. The handy aromatherapy perfume is a blend of mandarin, rosemary, lavender and earthy cedar essential oils. Use this to help improve mental clarity for that short yet stressful last few hours at work or to help you sleep better at night.

#4 Origins Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind On-the-spot Relief
$29, available at all Origins counters

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Image: Origins

While Origins’ Sensory Therapy Peace of Mind On-the-spot Relief is a blend of stress-relieving oils like basil, peppermint and eucalyptus, it doesn’t at all feel like oil on the skin. Instead, expect a serum-like texture that immediately blends, absorbs and tingles on the skin.

Photography: Vernon Wong; Art direction: Eugene Quek and Sabrina Tiong; Styling: Hong Xinying; Makeup: Beno Lim, Senior Artist, M.A.C Cosmetics, using M.A.C Cosmetics; Hairstyling: Patcharin; Model: Zhao Meijuan/Nu Models; Top and accessories: Cool-find K-Style

Have trouble sleeping at night? Follow these 4 tips tonight to help you de-stress before bed, or try this amazing massage that helps to ease tension in the head, neck and shoulders.