Words: Lauren Carbran
Fragrance and smells are so important to us, even though we may not spend much time thinking about them. Love that new scent smelling of peonies, praline or vanilla? Straight in your basket. Obsessed with that gorgeous girly bottle? It’s a no-brainer. But there’s so much more to fragrance than the way it smells or looks.
‘Our sense of smell is super-important,’ says fragrance expert Michael Edwards. ‘We rely on smell to identify food and danger, and babies respond to their mum’s smell. But while smell is primal and useful for survival, it’s also profoundly evocative. Smell affects people's moods. For example, the smell of baking will transport you straight home, or Marc Jacobs Daisy may instantly remind you of your first boyfriend.’
And with 80% of flavours we taste coming from our sense of smell, it’s no wonder scent can have such an impact on our decisions, emotions and the way we lead our lives.
IT CAN HELP US PERFORM BETTER
Love the smell of coffee? So do we. What’s more, it was revealed recently at The Global Wellness Summit 2019 that researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology found the scent of coffee could help you perform analytical tasks better. So when you smell coffee, you’re more likely to do well under pressure, in exams and academic tests. Why? It makes you more alert, suggesting that smelling coffee has a similar effect to drinking it. Interesting, huh? Try a fragrance that oozes rich coffee accords like YSL Black Opium for her (with vanilla and orange blossom, too).
IT CAN MAKE US FEEL RELAXED
‘Lavender is effective to neurological applications like mood-stabilising and sedative properties,’ says Michael. Looking to relax or de-stress? Lavender is your answer – and it’s one of the most popular essential oils for helping to soothe anxiety. Also known to aid sleep, lavender will answer all your prayers if you want to wind down. Need a fragrance that’ll keep you smelling amazing and help you stay calm? Opt for the comforting blend of lavender, rosemary and lemon in The Perfume Edit Citrus Fresco. The brand is The Perfume Shop’s first fragrance collection – and it’s vegan, cruelty-free and 100% recyclable.
IT CAN INCREASE THE FEELING OF HAPPINESS
Scent and memory are so closely linked, especially smells that bring a sense of happiness, fullness and warmth. And we’ve all been there, smelling cookies that reminds us of home, or a sandalwood-smelling candle that transports us to our favourite holiday. We’re taken back to important moments in our lives because in our early childhood, our brain forms the strongest connections and associations. Do the fragrance test of happiness on yourself. Does a vanilla scent transport you to your family kitchen and the smell of baking? Does the smell of roses remind you of your favourite garden? Opt for a fragrance with roses and you’ll feel an instant uplift. We’re loving Armani Si Eau de Parfum, which always puts us in the best mood, thanks to its hints of vanilla and rose mixed with neroli and jasmine.
IT CAN HELP FIND US A POTENTIAL PARTNER
Yep, you better believe it. Scent is so powerful that it can even help us find a partner. Without knowing it, you’re attracted to your partner’s smell, so when you’re dating or looking for love, scent is vital. Think of it as a secret accomplice – because you’ll be giving off a signal they can’t see. It’s also important to stay true to yourself when you choose a scent – in this way you’ll be more likely to find your perfect match. For example, if you want to show you have a warm, accommodating personality, opt for a woody scent like Gucci Mémoire d’Une Odeur, which mixes sandalwood and cedarwood, with chamomile and jasmine petals in there, too. The best news? If they’re attracted to you physically and intellectually AND you’re wearing a perfume that best represents who you are, you’ve scored very highly.