Mood boosts in a bot­tle

Fashion Quarterly - - Contents -

Have you ever stepped into an el­e­va­tor and had the lin­ger­ing trace of the pre­vi­ous oc­cu­pant’s Calvin Klein Eter­nity trans­port you into the arms of a past love? Or en­coun­tered a heady bou­quet of white blooms and come face to face with the teen you once were, all dark li­pliner and asym­met­ric hem­lines, doused in Gucci Rush? If so, you’ll know aro­mas can have a pow­er­fully nos­tal­gic emo­tional ef­fect — but what about in­cit­ing new emo­tions?

From mate-at­tract­ing pheromones to the warn­ing sig­nal smoke pro­vides, there’s proof aro­mas play a part in our be­hav­iour and de­ci­sions, often on an in­stinc­tual level. One French study even found that the smell of freshly baked bread can make us kinder to strangers. Al­though sci­ence hasn’t dived deep enough to find con­crete ev­i­dence of their ef­fect on our emo­tions, pro­po­nents of es­sen­tial oils have also long pro­moted their mood-en­hanc­ing prop­er­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to Rachel Herz, an ex­pert on the psy­chol­ogy of smell and au­thor of The

Scent of De­sire, our re­ac­tions to cer­tain smells are more about psy­chol­ogy and our own unique ex­pe­ri­ences than a one-siz­e­fits-all re­sponse. That’s be­cause our ol­fac­tory sys­tem (our sense of smell) is con­nected to our lim­bic sys­tem, the part of the brain re­spon­si­ble for pro­cess­ing mem­o­ries and emo­tions. Our re­ac­tion to a scent is re­lated to the emo­tions we’ve con­nected with it, ei­ther when we ini­tially came across it, or with re­peated ex­po­sure. The scent trig­gers a mem­ory that in­flu­ences our be­hav­iour and mood ac­cord­ingly.

Herz’s re­search shows that the way we ‘read’ fra­grances also re­lates to the way our brain has per­ceived them since we were very young, a re­ac­tion that’s typ­i­cally life­long. If you choose a fra­grance with notes that have al­ways made you feel happy, that feel­ing will be easy to re­call.

For an in­stant hit of happy, choose a fra­grance that evokes won­der­ful mem­o­ries of cher­ished hol­i­days or walks in fra­grant spring gar­dens. So­lar notes are de­scribed as a ray of sun­shine in a bot­tle, while seasalt el­e­ments are in­creas­ingly be­ing added to fresh fra­grances. Zesty citrus notes can also pro­vide an up­lift­ing boost, and co­conut might trans­port you to a trop­i­cal is­land.

1. Chopard Happy Lemon Dulci EDP 100ml, $199. A ra­di­ant citrus ex­plo­sion with fresh green notes.

2. Jo Malone

Hon­ey­suckle & Da­vana Cologne 100ml, $236. Like warm sun shining on hon­ey­suckle.

3. Lancôme La Vie est Belle Flow­ers of Hap­pi­ness EDP 75ml, $205. A bright bou­quet of pe­ony, rose, jas­mine and lily of the val­ley.

Fresh citrus com­bined with white flow­ers is an ex­cel­lent choice to en­cour­age alert­ness, but a more con­tem­po­rary take is a fresh green scent with hints of dew on fo­liage or woody-herby notes. El­e­ments of tea are also emerg­ing as a pop­u­lar new ad­di­tion. 4. El­iz­a­beth Ar­den My Fifth Av­enue EDT 100ml, $109. Sparkling citrus and el­e­gant vi­o­let leaf. 5. Valentino

Donna Rosa Verde EDT 125ml, $228. Berg­amot, gin­ger and mate tea. 6. Guer­lain

Aqua Al­le­go­ria Pam­plelune EDT 75ml, $113. Ra­di­ant with tangy grape­fruit.

If rose fra­grances are your go-to, you’re on the right track, but choose care­fully as they can have old-fash­ioned as­so­ci­a­tions. Choose ones that are teamed with up­dated ac­cents such as patchouli or deeper woods and am­ber.

7. Nar­ciso Eau de Par­fum Rouge EDP 50ml, $170. Se­duc­tive rose, iris and cedar.

8. Gior­gio Ar­mani Sì Pas­sione EDP 100ml, $175. Juicy and bold fruit, rose and wood notes. 9. Gucci Bloom Nettare di Fiori EDP 100ml, $209. Rose, gin­ger and wood.

Scents that re­mind us of our youth and happy times in our child­hood often con­tain de­li­cious, ‘ed­i­ble’ notes like vanilla, al­mond and caramel. Their in­ten­sity varies from sac­cha­rine sweet to mod­ern and chic. 10. Paco Ra­banne Olym­pēa Aqua EDT 80ml, $188. Smells like sen­sual, salty vanilla.

11. Prada Candy Sugar Pop EDP 80ml, $162. Perky peach, ap­ple and caramel 12. Alaïa

Paris Nude EDP 50ml, $170. With tonka bean, car­damom and or­ange blos­som.

Got an im­por­tant in­ter­view com­ing up, or just want to boost your self-con­fi­dence and sense of pride? Choose a slightly left-of-cen­tre scent — a flo­ral ori­en­tal, or one with notes of am­ber, black pep­per, cof­fee or smoky to­bacco. They might smell a bit more mas­cu­line at first, but they’ll make their mark — you won’t be eas­ily for­got­ten.

13. Hugo Boss The Scent for Her Par­fum 50ml, $159. As­sertive peach, os­man­thus and co­coa. 14. Boucheron

San­tal de Kandy EDP 125ml, $310. Spicy pep­per and warm woods. 15. YSL Black Opium Sound Pulse EDP 50ml, $179. A strik­ing flo­ral with cof­fee notes.

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