Psy­chol­ogy of Scent

Science says cer­tain scents can boost con­fi­dence, beat anx­i­ety and even curb your ap­petite. Where do we sign?

Look (UK) - - LOOK BEAUTY - Words AND styling: ly­dia thomp­son

it’s not un­til I started re­search­ing this piece that it dawned on me how in­ter­twined my psy­che and my scent re­ally are. We all know how cer­tain smells can cat­a­pult you back – whether it’s baked bread, a waft of your mum’s hair­spray or your boyfriend’s old tee – but scents can ac­tu­ally dic­tate your mood, too.

Con­versely, your mind­set can al­ter how you smell things. Science sug­gests that de­pres­sion can sup­press one’s sense of smell, while anx­i­ety and stress are thought to re­wire the brain, mak­ing typ­i­cally be­nign smells malodor­ous. But how does this trans­late to ev­ery­day fra­grances?

I have a go-to per­fume wardrobe of three. One to pep me up when I need that ‘I’ve got this!’ feel­ing; an­other that makes me feel em­pow­ered when there’s a tough day ahead; and lastly, the posh one that just feels swanky.

When I looked at their top notes, I was stunned to dis­cover that – un­be­knownst to me – I’ve been fra­grance coach­ing my­self for years! Truth be told, treat­ing your­self to a new scent is ex­cit­ing enough, but know­ing it’ll give you an ex­tra kick with ev­ery sin­gle spritz? That makes choos­ing the right one even more im­por­tant! Here’s how to do it …

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