Whether you’re inspired by a bold spirit of adventure or tamed by the freshness of florals, perfume has the magical ability to calm or arouse our daily feelings.
Yes it may seem like just a spritz of something on your neck, or across your wrists, but it’s so much more than that.
What your favourite scent does to the brain
A great scent can be as powerful as a red lip or a two-toned power suit because of the way it makes you feel. Like a shimmering armour that lingers in a room long after you’ve left, or a divine potion that feeds our imagination with an unspoken power.
It’s not all Hollywood glam though.
There is a real scientific reason why we feel the way we do when we wear our signature scents. Smells and fragrances directly influence our psycho-emotional balance.
Meaning the information from a scent penetrates our limbic system, otherwise known as our emotional brain – the part that most influences our psyche – and plays a role in our behaviour.
Anyone who has smelt fresh bread and been transported back to a childhood home will believe this to be true.
The same goes for someone who is reminded of that picture-perfect Pina Colada moment last summer when they smell coconut-infused sunscreen.
Your sense of smell is one of the strongest of the senses, placing the biggest influence on your mood and feelings. A scent that is remembered, has not only been smelt but felt too.
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Among the hundreds of different smells and combinations out there, some scents have more of an effect on our moods than others. Soothing, invigorating, arousing… there’s a science to choosing a fragrance that’s right for you.
When you need to keep calm
Imagine walking along the pine-covered ground of an enchanted forest. Now put that feeling in a bottle and you’ve got yourself a fragrance that both calms and invigorates the senses.
Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Oud and grasses such as Vetiver have this calming effect, especially when combined with the deep floral scents of Patchouli or the ambery effects of Saffron.
There’s something grounding about the earthy smells found in a fragrance like Tom Ford’s Private Blend Oud Wood Eau de Parfum.
Exotic Rose Wood and Cardamom give way to a smoky blend of rare Oud Wood, Sandalwood and Vetiver, while Tonka Bean adds a comforting and calming warmth.
When you need confidence
Whether it’s for a feel-good finishing touch to an outfit, or a refreshing start to your day, most perfumes have a confidence-boosting effect.
Some ingredients do a better job of it than others. The fresh and tangy smell of citrus fruits has a reputation for being stimulating and energizing.
ELIE SAAB Le Parfum blends Orange Blossom and Jasmine with honeyed Rose and Patchouli; a recipe for success if ever there was one. Layered, of course, with sweet floral scents to add an innocent touch of femme fatale.
Similarly, Ylang Ylang is a scent that is not afraid to be noticed, appearing in popular unisex fragrances around the world.
The powdery and fruity notes of the Ylang Ylang flower are known to promote cheerfulness and positivity – perfect for the modern-day woman looking for a breath of fresh air amongst the chaos of everyday life.
When you are feeling romantic
There’s no doubt about it, perfume has a way of making you feel a touch more sensual with just one spritz.
It’s usually thanks to the bolder more captivating ingredients that we feel this way; stronger floral notes like Tuberose for her, and Clary Sage Heart for him.
It’s why we go weak at the knees for fragrances like Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio Pour Homme Eau de Parfum and Gucci Guilty Eau de Parfum Intense Pour Femme.
Both fragrances are enhanced by mysterious floral notes like Geranium, Lavender and Plum, to create bold, long-lasting signature scents.
But for something a little more discreet, there are softer ingredients that add appeal, such as silky florals that bring about feelings of serenity and are loved for their delicate sweetness and powerful scents of sensuality.
For this very reason, Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir is a must-have on your perfume stand. White notes of Rose, Jasmine and Ylang Ylang work together to create a scent with a confidently cool, soft romantic flair.