Isn’t it time to ‘treat yourself?’

Listen, the signs and suggestions for V-Day have been in the shops the moment they cleared the tinsel and trees away, but if you’re not in a conventional romantic relationship – through choice or otherwise – we know you can start to feel sick of it all well before the box of half-price chocolates are opened.

So we say: don’t wait – why not treat yourself to some scented goodies this year? We have no doubt there are all sorts of reasons you should be kind to yourself, and things you deserve to celebrate. Managed to get through January without murdering anyone? That’s a win!

Here’s our edit of some fabulously fragrant ways to indulge

 

 

The Anima Vinci Discovery Set invites you to take a breath and re-connect, with scents showcasing ingredients designed to help you seek inner strength, peace and joyfulness – literally a monent to stop and smell the roses (or jasmine, ylang ylang, sesame, palo santo…). The creative expression of founder and industry expert, Nathalie Vinciguerra‘s strong belief in the power of fragrance and the positive effect it can have on your heart, mind and spirit, these perfumes have been created in collaboration with the world’s top ‘noses’. Think: Fanny BalThomas Fontaine, Michel Roudnitska, Christian Provenzano, Beverley Bayne and Randa Hammami – true experts and alchemists in the world of fragrance. Which one will you connect with first…?

Lime Spirit — Lime acts as a stimulating tonic for the mind and body. Lime pacifies your mood and boost brain power. It is a powerful ancient remedy for cleansing the aura and restoring self-confidence

Rose Prana — It benefits the heart chakra that is responsible for love, spiritual wisdom and mental clarity. Influences the central nervous system, boosts self-confidence, self – esteem and positive feeling. Strengthens the aura and stimulate the body

Jasmine Yang — Tonic and relaxant, it generates a positive reaction in the mind, enhances self-confidence, helps to change the mood and increase spiritual well being

Wood of Life — This elevating, soft, uplifting and sweet woody scent has been used for thousands of years for attaining illumination of mind, awaking self-love

Oud Delight — Illuminates the mind and fortifies the power of thinking. Increase the sense of strength, bringing in tranquillity, increasing cerebral functioning and strengthening the nervous system.

Tudo Azul — The potion to put a smile on your face.

Neroli Wisdom — A relaxing potion.

Sesame Chān — A potion to provide a zen state of mind.

Anima Vinci Discovery Set £20

Perfumer Emmanuelle Moeglin first developed workshops for frag heads to create their own fragrances in her open-source lab – then went on to conjure the Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set, so scent lovers can now mix, layer or personalise their own bespoke blends at home . Genius! If you have ever wanted to ‘tweak’ a scent or are intrigued by making something unique to you – this is the perfect starting point. Each fragrance can be worn alone, or layered (with guidance) to get something completely new for you. Featuring SIX NICHE FRAGRANCES to layer, explore and learn, what a great gift to yourself to emark on an exciting fragrant journey…

Bergamot / Incense – Top Layer – citrus and exotic spices are brought together in this bright fragrance with Eastern influence.

Fig / Neroli – Top Layer  – the crunch of fresh herbs in a Mediterranean garden in bloom.

Jasmine / Osmanthus – Mid Layer – a tribute to white flowers growing on hot sand. Radiant, floral and exotic.

Rose / Rhubarb – Mid Layer – imagine rose bushes growing from a rhubarb patch.

Amber / Iris – Base Layer – an amber wrapped in powdery notes; dark yet soft.

Sandalwood / Musk – Base Layer – mineral sandalwood met with leather and musks. Mineral, woody and addictive.

Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set £25

 

 

Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed created a stunning portfolio of perfumes reflecting her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. Created by renowned perfumer Carlos Benaïm, Amy’s collection – the Sana Jardin Discovery Set – offers sensuous, strong women-led scents with sustainability (currently a ‘buzzword’ in perfumery) at the heart of everything they do. We now invite you to delight your senses with the SEVEN very special fragrances in the line-up:

Savage Jasmine Night-blooming jasmine, wrapped around intoxicating musk. 

Sandalwood Temple Moroccan neroli oil, enveloped it in Atlas cedarwood, Haitian vetiver, creamy vanilla and East Indian sandalwood.

Tiger By Her Side Showcases Moroccan rose alongside Somalian incense and Indonesian patchouli.

Berber Blonde Filled with the light of Sana Jardin’s signature orange blossom, alongside Moroccan neroli oil and musk.

Celestial Patchouli Exotic aromas of patchouli, leather, cinnamon bark and Australian Sandalwood give way to the abundant warmth of rose, jasmine, osmanthus and Moroccan orris.

Nubian Musk A sensuously inviting blend of musk and vanilla, rose, jasmine, Moroccan grapefruit flower, Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood.

Revolution de la Fleur This is a sultry, sun-filled melody of Madagascan ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.

Jaipur Chant Heady & Seductive Tuberose. Indian tuberose, the goddess of flowers, blooms in the still of night.

Sana Jardin Discovery Set £30

Castle Farm’s lavender harvest: our fragrant field trip

Lavender is having a moment in fragrance right now – according to a repot by the NPD group, sales of prestige lavender beauty products in the U.K. have increased by a staggering 552% from January 2019 to the end of April 2019. So you might have previously dismissed it as ‘grandma’s scent’, but get ready to leave your lavender preconceptions at the door…

When you think of a purple swathe of lavender being harvested for the perfume industry, your mind possibly strays to the fields of Provence. But did you know we have our own beautiful lavender farms right on our doorstop in the U.K?

We paid a visit with the British Essential Oil Association on a field trip to Castle Farm in Sevenoaks, Kent, to see the lavender harvest in action and – most excitingly – to see their very own distillery, and watch those tiny flowers be turned into the most lusciously fragrant essential oil: from field to bottle, in front of our very eyes (and noses)…

Starting our day with a glass of apple juice from the farm and a lavender shortbread biscuit, we ignored the gathering clouds and headed out to the fields to learn about the differing types of lavender they grow there, and how the oils from them are used.

The Alexander Family have been farming in the Darent Valley since 1892, when the enterprising James Alexander apparently brought down 17 milking cows on the train from Ayrshire in Scotland. Today, the farm is managed by William and Caroline Alexander, with involvement from each of their children, Lorna, Thomas and Crispin, and supported by the hard-working Castle Farm team.

The lavender farm was established in 1985, when William and Caroline went to market – Covent Garden as it happens – selling dried hops. By 1990, The Hop Shop (as Castle Farm is also known) was a major producer of dried flowers, growing over 70 different flowers and won many awards, including 5 consecutive Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Now the farm is a sprawling 1,100 acres, with crops of wheat, barley, rapeseed, hops, apples, pumpkins and a grass-fed herd of beef cattle. And, of course, the magnificent fields of lavender – the largest lavender farm in the U.K.

In the distillery, they had the ingenious idea of using the trucks that harvest the lavender to directly distill the essential oil from – time is of the literally essence for the highest quality yield – and so they put a lid on top of the container, in which 7 tonnes of lavender are heated to 100° in just ten minutes. From there, a huge pipe is attached to catch the and filter the steam to the tanks in a large barn.

As we stood with steam wafting around our ankles, the smell became almost overpowering – it felt like the lavender fields had been turned into a sauna, with misty swirls of mineralic steam mixing with the scent of drying hay and engine oil. A bit like being on a steam train in a dream. A truly surreal and unforgettable experience. And then, of course, we got to smell the oils themselves…

Premium Lavender Oil: An elite single origin oil – luxuriously delicate with exceptional fragrance notes for aromatherapy. Intensely pure. ‘This oil is extracted solely from our Maillette Lavender plants – and taken in the first 20 minutes of distillation only – making it the finest and most delicate of our lavender fragrances.’ With all the characteristics of a ‘high altitude Lavender Oil’ (which, we learned, has nothing whatever to do with the altitude a lavender’s grown at, and everything to do with the type of lavender and how long it’s distilled for!)

Kentish Lavender Oil: A high-grade, honeyed, gentle Lavender essential oil with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and mild anesthetic properties. This oil is made from their Lavandula Angustifolia, grown and distilled on Castle Farm. Widely used in aromatherapy, perfumery and medicine, the pure oil is safe for use directly on the skin.

Kentish Lavandin Oil: Lavandula x intermedia is extracted from Castle Farm’s Grosso plant variety and has a strong, cleansing and refreshing scent with elements of camphor. Often used for room fragrancing, candles, as a moth repellant and to clear cold-sufferers’ heads, the fragrance is comforting but less nuanced than the others, which are more suitable for perfumery.

The oils are sold in the farm shop, and online, and also sold to private companies for use in the fragrance and beauty industry.

The Hop Shop – is open daily throughout the year, however the Castle Farm Lavender fields are only in flower from late June until late July. Lavender plants for sale from the shop from late April/early May, but they explain, ‘the Lavender season really gets underway in mid-June and the glorious scent and vibrant colour of the fields fill the valley and we start to hand cut fresh Lavender bunches. Harvesting for oil starts in mid July and continues until early August, but is obviously weather dependent.’

Of course, on the day they began harvesting and the morning of our field trip – the heavens opened. If the rain lasts too long, half the entire crop can be lost in under an hour. Luckily, it wasn’t too long before we could venture out from under the trees and take photos – Castle Farm had the brilliant idea of including an Instagram Field, complete with perfectly positioned bench, so people can take scented selfies to their heart’s content, without disturbing the harvesting. Genius!

And to show it really is a family affari, this photo (above) is of William and Caroline’s grandaughter, taken by their talented son.

Castle Farm began harvesting while we were there, ‘…but it takes us over a week to clear all the fields, and the distillery is now running daily. We completed harvest of the large field at the back of the valley on 22nd July, but our field with the Lavender Bench and viewing area will NOT be harvested until after this weekend (27/28 July). We are still running Lavender Tours until we harvest our very last field!’

You can book online for weekday tours, or on arrival at the farm for weekend tours.

We’re not sure if it was the supremely soothing smell of the lavender or how long we’d been traipsing through the fragrant fields – possible a mixture of both – but goodness, we slept well that night.

We were also enthused to seek out four of our favourite lavender fragrances and urge you to do likewise. Forget the aromatherapy benefits for a moment and focus instead on the incredible nuances that lavender can add to a scent…

Atkinsons Lavender On the Rocks
True to the cocktail-esque name, this one has a double-shot of lavender to tickle your fancy. From the bracingly fresh opening with geranium and basil to the honeyed hay-like dry down with almond, guaiac wood and saffron, every facet is allowed to shine.
£130 for 100ml eau de parfum
harrods.com

Creed Aberdeen Lavender
An Oriental fougére, absinthe is added to rosemary, bergamot and lemon before succumbing to a powdered, musky lavender ramped up with tuberose, iris and a dusky rose. Dark patchouli, smoky leather and cool vetiver make for a surprisingly sexy flourish.
£200 for 100ml eau de parfum
libertylondon.com

Milano Centro HIM
Luminescent citrus segues to a herbaceously dappled breeze of rosemary, lavender and basil. As it warms, you’re swathed in the musky warmth of smooth sandalwood and suavely sprinkled spicy notes of clove, cinnamon and amber atop a darkly glimmering patchouli base.

Want to try it for yourself? Find this in our Explorer Men’s Discovery Box – along with SIXTEEN other fragrances to explore!

Tom Ford Private Blend Lavender Extrême
Trust Tom to turn lavender sexy. Here it’s subverted into an electric floral ‘to be worn at maximum volume.’ Bergamot drenches the lavender with freshness at first, then it’s full-on delicious with wild-grown tonka and creamy benzoin swirled to perfection.
£220 for 50ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Feeling balmy: 5 fragranced balms we’re obsessed by

A couple of weeks ago we experienced something of a mini heatwave in the UK, with temperatures reaching the twenties and t-shirts making an appearance… now of course we’re back in a sort of Winter/Spring with hailstorms and bright, cold sunshine the order of the day. But we’re still feeling ‘balmy’ by reaching for some of our favourite fragranced balms – something of a scent trend it seems.

Often multi-use and perfect for travel, we also love the fact a balm represents a private moment of stopping to smell the roses (or rosemary, or whatever the balms are fragranced by) – they feel extra special because we kind of annoint ourselves when using and enjoying them. Here are a few of our favourite balms we cannot urge you enough to sniff out and try for yourself…

Sometimes we just need a quick blast of wake-me-up concentration: long (dull) meetings, exams, important events when we need to concentrate, all these occasions require some extra help, though it might not be appropriate to reach for a bottle of perfume and start spraying. So we reach for this 100% natural focus balm – from an exciting new(ish) name in aromatherapy – gliding onto pulse points, it’s powered by memory-boosting rosemary, crisp peppermint (known to help with mental alertness), and clary sage which combine to help relieve mental fatigue. It’s like a shot of sudden awareness and immediately clears mental fogginess.

Psst! You can try a darling mini-size in our Feel Good Box

Scentered Focus Therapy Balm £14.50 for 5g
planetorganic.com

First created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Diptyque, this innovative solid perfume is named for their first-ever boutique – at the iconic 34 Boulevard Saint Germain. It’s the perfect transitional season scent, too, with blackcurrant leaves and moss atop warm spices and fig, it aims to recreate the scents that filled that shop floor over half a century ago, and in surely one of the most chic (and satisfyingly hefty) containers ever. We like to smooth it through the tips of dry hair, too, to get little wafts of perfume the whole day through.

Diptyque 34 Boulevard Saint Germain Solid Perfume £40 for 3.6g
diptyqueparis.com

A much loved, multi award-winning and multi-tasking product, this is a one-pot wonder for all skin types. With antioxidant-rich, organic wild rosehip oil and a balancing blend of organic geranium and patchouli essential oils, this cult favourite nourishes skin and enhances your skin’s radiance, for a natural glow. It’s rich in rosehip oil, featuring pro-vitamin A (a source of retinol) and vitamin E, and apart from perfectly cleansing, you can: leave it on overnight for an ultra-rich face mask, use as a lip balm, cuticle oil, hair frizz-tamer, or skin-soothing salve – all while enjoying the heavenly, rosy aroma!

Try a travel-size pot in our Feel Good Box, and we’re betting you’ll fall in love, too…

Neal’s Yard Wild Rose Beauty Balm Cleanser £40 for 50g
nealsyardremedies.com

There are definitely times you need to feel like a goddess, and now you can carry a cute little scented pot of balm to apply whenever you need reminding. Lush have a number of solid perfumes in balm form, but this is their most recent release (and perhaps their most lavish!) Featuring Turkish rose, jasmine and smoky sandalwood, there’s also some oudh from responsibly managed nurseries in Thailand, all on a solid jojoba oil base. It’s great to smooth on decolletége for some va-va-voom that comforts while creating confidence.

Lush Goddess Solid Perfume £9 for 6g
uk.lush.com

Encased in a weighted metal compact that’s been sculpted to perfectly fit the curve of your palm and thumb, with an addictively flippable hinged swivel. You simply swing it open, press your finger into the scented balm and glide onto skin wherever you please. Beautifully designed and so-satisfying to use, this is Glossier’s ‘your skin but better’ perfume in solid form. It’s slightly salty, lightly musky and has a powdery pink-pepper note that kept our noses coming back for more. A quiet, contemplative scent for when you just want to smell like yourself (but better).

Glossier You Solid Perfume £19 for 3g
glossier.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Help her Feel Good this Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is on Sunday, March 31 – and it can be emotional for many reasons. Those of us lucky enough to have a mum who’s still around can take a moment to treat her for a change, and those of us who don’t can feel rather overwhelmed by the occasion. But many of us might have a ‘mother figure’ – a strong woman we look to for advice and comfort in times of stress – so why not take the opportunity to send her some scented, feel-good vibes?

Why not buy mum / your mother-figure the Feel-Good Box (along with a nice bottle bottle of wine/tub of hot chocolate and bunch of flowers for full-on spoiling) – it’s our first collaboration with the Beauty Bible and packed with beautifully fragranced body and face-care treats to soothe away stress, leaving her calmer, glowing and stunningly scented.

Then, suggest she indulges in the following routine for a guaranteed feel-good / smell great treat of a day…

1. Cleanse with the iconic Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish / 30ml – the plant-based cream removes all traces of makeup, including stubborn waterproof mascara) while chamomile, rosemary, hops and eucalyptus soothe the skin (and the senses)…

2. Slather your face with the also award-winning Neal’s Yard Rose Beauty Balm / 15g –a multi-tasking product that can be left on as an ultra-nourishing face mask, dabbed on dry cutilcles/ends of hair, and used as a lip balm.

3. Run yourself a bath and add any of these generously sized options (BOTH are included!) depending if you feel…

Stressed out? Use just half a capful of the relaxing Olverum Bath Oil / 15ml – an aromatic blend of essential oils which combine to ease stress and relax tension in both mind and body. The scented steam will fill the room and the oil’s easily absorbed by the skin (no greasy residue in the bath!)

Need pampering? Try the decadently gorgeous Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Bathing Oil / 45ml – notes of rose absolute, violet leaf, blackcurrant, raspberry, geranium, sandalwood and patchouli, infused with skin-silkifying oils of argan and Italian rose, this bathing elixir will veil your skin in a deep, velvety fragrance that clings to the body for a beautiful trail, as you emerge from the scented waters.

4. After patting yourself dry with a fluffy towel, smooth the Temple Spa Peace Be Still Calming Skin Balm / 50ml all over your body. A Gold Beauty Bible Award-winner in 2019, It’s aromatherapy and skincare in one – with extracts of coriander, lemon, nutmeg, antioxidants and a fusion of relaxing Mediterranean essential oils and vitamin B5, deeply moisturising and leaving skin silky to touch.

5. After removing the Rose Beauty Balm/mask with the muslin cloth (acting as a deeply moisturising double-cleanse); warm a few drops of the Aurelia Cell Repair Night Oil / 4ml in your hands, slowly massage into your face and allowing replenishing, renewing and restoring botanicals to work their magic. Including sinks-in-fast Kalahari oil, vitamin E-powered mongongo oil, firming Kigelia Africana and omega-rich, ‘buzz ingredient’ baobab oil, together with a blend of hibiscus and pomegranate to help fight free radicals.

6. Change into pyjamas, relax on the sofa with a glass of wine / hot choccy and allow the velvety smooth, rich Madagascan vanilla-ness of Green & Black’s White Chocolate / 100g to melt in your mouth. This indulgent treat features lashings of cocoa butter alongside organic whole milk, giving this white chocolate its wonderfully creamy texture.

7. While catching up with Netflix, massage the shea butter and almond oil-infused Heathcote & Ivory Gardener’s Handcream in for a mini-mani: The Original Gardeners Shea Butter Hand Cream is inspired by the vegetable patch, juicy with tomatoes and redcurrants, basil and mint. Hedgerow Hand Cream, meanwhile, delivers a luscious yet subtle berry scent, infused with tart rhubarb, blackberry and elderflower. Whichever you receive, we love them both!

8. Breathe deeply and apply This Works Stress Check Roll-On / 5ml to pulse points (we also love using it on the temple to relieve a headache). This concentrated 100% natural superblend of pure essential oils is the perfect antidote to stress overload. An invigorating, mind-cleansing, calming blend, it features refreshing eucalyptus, to combat mental fatigue, frankincense (to help you relax mentally and physically), alongside lavender oil, the most effective oil in helping hypertension, nervous tension and insomnia…

 

9. In the morning, have a fabulously scented shower with Percy & Reed Heavenly Hydrating Body Wash / 100ml – breathing in refreshing top notes of citrus and apple, heart notes of lily of the valley and rose, and comforting base notes of cedar wood, amber and musk. This nourishing formula is blended with botanical extracts to help calm and soothe the skin.

10. Take a shot of energy with Hello Day Vitality Boost / 4g – a new name in supplements, created with the help of Swiss and French health experts and doctors in micro-nutrition and phytotherapy, Vitality Boost sets out to help you feel more energetic, with stimulating and tonic properties to boost mental and physical wellbeing. Ingredients include cinnamon bark extract, to help your body feel stronger, and vitamin C to reduce tiredness and help your metabolism energy yield return to normal.

11. Before heading off to work/daily chores, glide some Scentered Focus Therapy Balm / 1.5g onto pulse points, it’s powered by memory-boosting rosemary, crisp peppermint (known to help with mental alertness), and clary sage – with its wonderfully clarifying scent – which combine to help relieve mental fatigue and promote concentration. Just what you need to carry with you through the day, for top-ups of a scented tonic!

We think you’ll agree, there’s a whole lot to explore and fall in love with in this box, and it’s the perfect gift for anyone you love who’s been feeling a bit overwhelmed or could just do with a bit of a pick-me-up… and perhaps that person is YOU? Go ahead, indulge yourself while you’re at it…

Feel Good Discovery Box £19 / £15 for VIP Club members

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to Feel Good with Fragrance

Increasingly, people are turning to aromatherapy and using smell to soothe stress, add a sense of comfort or revive their spirits. There’s a whole feel-good festival with this in mind, and we’re thrilled to be taking part in Live Well London from 1-3 March 2019 – which you can read all about here – where we’ll be bringing our How to Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshop and exploring how scent truly can have a deeply emotional effect, every day.

In fact, we’re pre-conditioned to have smell preferences, and our response is based partly on our individual genetic make-up (our DNA), and partly on our life experiences. So: that crushed tomato leaf note that reminds you of a beloved grandmother and her greenhouse – or the jasmine that was growing round a door when you were poorly on holiday, and which you can now hardly stomach.

Many people use fragrance as a boost for their spirits, perhaps without realising they’re doing so, and there is even a name for the science behind this: ‘aromachology’.

It’s been scientifically proven that different aromas can impact on mood and emotions – not just personally, but affecting those around you. Bergamot is a feel-good ingredient, peppermint makes you perkier and more alert, and grapefruit – believe it or not – apparently makes others believe you’re younger than you are!

This is one reason so many people now have a ‘wardrobe’ of fragrances, rather than just one signature scent: a perfume to make them feel romantic, after a hard day staring at a computer screen; to give them a relaxed, weekend feel on Saturdays and Sundays – or simply something that they spritz on for work, in the morning, which makes them feel focused and professional, in the same way as a smart suit or a crisp white shirt.

We’re huge believers in using scent every day as a way to – literally – take a breather, and for the first time, Beauty Bible and The Perfume Society have teamed up to collate the Feel Good Discovery Box, filled with fragrant award-winning goodies you can use and enjoy on a daily basis.

If you love the smell of a product, you’re far more likely to use it regualrly and see the benefits of adding it into your beauty routine, but it’s also time to consider allowing yourself the luxury of a few minutes each day: inhaling the aromas and treating yourself to a mini-spa experience by focusing on the smell alone.

It’s genuinely life-changing.

If your spirits could do with a boost, read more about wellness scents to try, or why not indulge yourself (or treat a friend who’s been going through a hard time) to a whole box of fragrant, feel-good delights….?

Feel Good Discovery Box £19 (£15 for VIP Club members)

So how do you use fragrance to make you feel better, stronger, calmer or self-assured? Are there perfumes you find yourself reaching for in certain situations, and how do they make you feel? Live Well London would love to hear from you about whatever makes you feel better – and we sure many of our readers will already be using scent to boost their spirits on a daily basis – so do get involved in the discussion by using #yourlivewell in social media…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Feel-good buys the experts adore

Do you ever reach for a calming bath oil or reviving lotion to soothe away stresses or lift flagging spirits? From 11-16th June 2018, the International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) will be launching Aromatherapy Awareness Week – an annual campaign that aims ‘to raise awareness of the benefits of aromatherapy’.

As fragrance fanatics, we’re always surrounding ourselves with beautifully scented things, but wondered what aromatherapy-inspired products some of our favourite fragrance experts and bloggers liked to use…

Liz Earle, Founder, Liz Earle Wellbeing: ‘My long-term favourite is Aromatherapy Associates Revive Bath Oil, a delicious blend of neroli, sandalwood and patchouli. I was given my first bottle by their founder, Geraldine Howard, who I used to see for aromatherapy treatments when I was pregnant with Lily (now aged 27!) and who encouraged me to write my very first book, Vital Oils. She sadly died a couple of years ago, but I’m reminded of happier, less complicated times and her talented, gentle care every time I smell it. My newest fave is Ren’s & Now To Sleep Pillow Spray, an up-date on the classic lavender-only sleeping spritzes as it combines traditional lavender with hops to relax and frankincense to still the mind. It’s a fabulous sleep-inducing combination and I have become quite addicted.’
Aromatherapy Associates Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil £48 for 50ml

James Craven, Fragrance Archivist at Les Senteurs: ‘What else but OLVERUM bath oil? Of German origin and a best-seller for over 80 years, OLVERUM has always been a firm favourite of mine. It has the most amazing holistic healing magic: a little dash and I sleep like an angel and awake restored. Relaxing at night, a reviving tonic in the morning, OLVERUM is kind to the skin and helps to clear and stimulate a stuffy head or sluggish brain. A little gift to oneself.’

Olverum Bath Oil £29 for 125ml
olverum.com

Thomas Dunkley, a.k.a. The Candy Perfume Boy: ‘I adore a shower – honestly, I could spend hours under warm water and hot steam, so it makes complete sense that my favouite aromatherapy product is the Neal’s Yard English Lavender Bath & Shower Gel. The soothing scent of lavender mixed with shower steam is the most soothing, calming thing after a stressful day. Just what one needs!’

Neal’s Yard English Lavender Bath & Shower Gel £11 for 200ml
nealsyardremedies.com

Jo Fairley, Co-Founder of The Perfume Society: ‘For me it has to be Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil. I genuinely feel like I’ve been coshed over the head – in the nicest possible way! – when I use this. My head goes ker-thump when it hits the pillow, and I know I’m guaranteed a great night’s sleep. What’s more, it honestly scents the entire house with wafts of sandalwood, camomile and vetiver, so while it’s quite pricey, I think it’s actually good value.’

Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil £49 for 55ml
aromatherapyassociates.com

Dariush Alavi, a.k.a. Persolaise: ‘Although aromatherapy isn’t a prominent blip on my scented radar, I confess there is one product that is never out of my eyeline: the Altitude Oil from De Mamiel. Originally designed to counteract the stultifying effects of air travel, it’s one of the most effective – and exuberant – cloud-banishers I’ve ever encountered. Lavender, pine, peppermint, eucalyptus, patchouli and a whole load of other wonder-oils come together to lift your spirits, widen your eyes and give you the tranquillity to face the day with a smile. Magic!’

De Mamiel Altitude Oil £28 for 10ml oil
demamiel.com

Samantha Scriven, a.k.a. I Scent You a Day: ‘I definitely find the right scent can calm me down and it almost always goes back to the smells of Mother Nature. I currently carry round a little roll on fragrance from Our Modern Lives by Sarah McCartney. It’s called Yellow Sunrise Hope and I roll it on my pulse points to give me a moment of head space. It evokes an al fresco breakfast with fresh orange juice, sunshine and bunch of daffodils. It is the absolute polar opposite of the usual noisy, chaotic breakfast times in my house. It helps me escape for a few minutes, and those minutes are precious.’

Our Modern Lives Yellow Sunrise Hope £30 for 10ml roll-on
4160tuesdays.com

Marcus Jaye, a.k.a. The Chic Geek: ‘Can I say Aveda’s Shampure? That smell is just pure calm and puts me in that spa/zen state, even if only for those two minutes it takes to wash my hair.’

Aveda Shampure £14.50 for 250ml
aveda.co.uk

Maria Angelidou, a.k.a. Greek Goddess London: ‘I joined the “aromatherapy inspired” products bandwagon quite late, but I realised that I was using them anyway to scent my home and help me relax. I was using Jurlique‘s Calming Blend Aromatherapy Mist with lavender and grapefruit for quite some time on myself plus my bedding, but lately I got a diffuser; the Sterline Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser. It’s quite compact but diffuses the oils I choose beautifully and the changing colours relax me (and my husband who demands we switch it on every evening) a lot…’

Jurlique Calming Blend Aromatherapy Mist £15 for 50ml jurlique.co.uk

Sterline Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser £11.50 amazon.co.uk

Stephan Matthews: ‘I’ve always loved the opening hit of rosemary in Clarins Eau Dynamisante and then the mouthwatering orange and Amalfi lemon that immediately follows. It is “summertime” to me, which is why there’s a bottle at the front door, a bottle at the back door, a bottle in the summerhouse and a bottle in my travel bag! Some would call it an addiction but I find that it invigorates and uplifts me, which is one of the best aromatherapy traditions.

Clarins Eau Dynamistante £50 for 200ml spray
clarins.co.uk

For those of you interested in learning more about the aromatic powers of fragrant ingredients, do have a browse of our extensive Ingredients index!

Meanwhile, you may be interested to learn that we were recently completely enamoured by the newly launched anatomē [see our Instagram post about our afternoon with them] – founded by Brendan Murdock working with perfumer Anastasia Brozler for a fascinating new wellness approach, using Anastasia’s phenomenal and potent essential oil blends alongside nutritional supplements.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Can listening to this scented story help you sleep…?

Insomnia can strike at any time, and stressed-out sufferers are increasingly turning to ‘sleep apps’ of various kinds to try and catch a few zzzzzzs. Now, Stephen Fry is offering to tell you a bedtime story, gently soothing you to sleep… and all within 24 minutes, apparently.
Few celebrities attain ‘national treasure’ status, but Fry is certainly one of them – famed for his dulcet tones, quick-wit, writing and acting abilities. Now he’s putting that sonorous voice to work by narrating a bedtime story for a sleep app called Calm. Themed around the lavender fields of Provence, the story for adults, called ‘Blue Gold‘ [ scroll down to listen an extract] invites listeners to close their eyes and imagine the purple-hued flowers in all their glory, guiding you through their cultivation and distillation techniques while describing the golden sunlight and snow-capped mountains beyond…

Makers of the app at Calm say: ‘We challenge anyone to stay awake for all 24 minutes of this sleep-inducing masterpiece by Stephen Fry.’

Just in case the sound of Stephen Fry’s voice wasn’t enough to lull you, the makers also produce a Sleep Mist you can purchase online and spritz to take you even deeper into those lavender fields. Described as a ‘natural elixir of lavender, frankincense, chamomile and clary sage essential oils’, Calm hope the spray will ‘transform your pillow and create a relaxing environment for sleep.’
The story by Stephen Fry is free, along with several others to choose from, with further stories available to download from their website. Listen to an extract below, and get set to feel calmer already…

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Fenwick launch limited edition 'Aromachology' scent to calm shopping stress

We’ve all made a few dodgy purchases in the past, pushed for time and yet wanting that instant feel-good hit of ‘retail therapy’. And we’re not alone – according to research undertaken by Fenwick Bracknell, ‘…nearly half of British consumers admit they have made unconsidered purchases because they are always in a rush.’

47% of UK shoppers admit they have bought unconsidered purchases, and nearly a quarter (24 per cent) doing so because they rushed their shopping experience during their lunch break

52% of British consumers have regretted a purchase they’ve bought without trying it on in store

But how to solve the dilemma of desperately wanting to purchase *something* to cheer yourself up, but not wanting to make a heinous mistake? Well, to soothe the stresses and calm the nerves of their shoppers (and to celebrate the launch of its latest store) Fenwick Bracknell has launched a brand new limited edition perfume, Quiescent, the fragrance being given away to customers visiting the store.


Developed using the principles of aromachology, Francois Robert, Master Perfumer at The Perfume Studio, explains that, ‘Modern-day life is stressful so we wanted to create a calming product which can be easily incorporated into the everyday beauty routine. Fenwick Quiescent does just that. The careful balance of headier notes of sandalwood and cedarwood with the delicate florals of jasmine delivers a truly mind-altering scent which has a tangible effect on the wearer.’

Fenwick say it’s ‘the perfect daytime scent for any shopper,’ because ‘the carefully curated range of oils not only trigger the olfactory system, but also the nervous system.’ Mandarin is renowned for its uplifting and calming effects, while cedarwood contains the highest amount of sesquiterpenes – a hydrocarbon group found in essential oils – which seem to stimulate the brain’s limbic system and apparently help to elevate mood and relaxation.

‘With over half of shoppers admitting they’ve regretted purchasing an item of clothing because they didn’t try it on in store and a third wishing that the changing rooms were generally a more pleasant experience, Fenwick Bracknell is also transforming some of its changing rooms into The Aromachology Rooms.’

Throughout September, a selection of the changing rooms in the store will be infused with the Quiescent fragrance, while the walls will be adorned with relaxing images of the British countryside and ambient sounds piped in to complete the spree-calming experience.

For those of you not able to visit the Bracknell branch, we spoke to perfumer Ben Janousek, who helped develop the fragrance, about ways we can can apply the principles of Aromachology to our everyday lives – finding scents that calm us most effectively…

Start with the basics; heighten your sense of smell, which you can do by exercising your senses; make an effort to keep smelling and tasting new things, from the ‘every-day’ scents of washing up liquid or toast – to flowers in the market or spices cooking in a local restaurant – let your sense of smell lead you to new experiences.’
Scents, as well as perfumes, can have many layers and textures. Think about your favourites, look for new ones and question why you like them. Does a certain scent trigger a hidden memory? How does it make you feel? For example, the smell of freshly cut grass can trigger a sense of nostalgia in many people as it reminds them of their favourite childhood summer holidays.’
Your Limbic System (the set of brain structures largely responsible for your emotion and memory) is key to Aromachology, and there’s lots of things you can do to help try and keep this healthy. Practice deep breathing, try visualisations or guided imagery, writing or diary keeping, and trying alternative practices such as mindfulness, therapy, meditation…and of course, exercise.’
Work out which scents to use in your life. There is evidence that certain essential oils, when inhaled, are absorbed into the bloodstream and then trigger the Hippocampus (the part of the brain responsible for memory). Lavender has been shown to reduce stress, mandarin to uplift and improve your overall mood, frankincense for sensuality and confidence, and peppermint essential oil to improve focus.’
Memories; you can apply the principles of Aromachology to bring positive memories and wellbeing – and also to creating new ones. For example, smelling rosemary stimulates your Hippocampus and could increase the intensity of your memories. If you’re going on a big trip, think about investing in a new scent – it will forever bring the back memories or glimpses from this time. You can also apply this to starting a new job or fresh start – find a scent which makes you feel fierce!’
These are all techniques we teach and explain in more detail at our How To Improve Your Sense of Smell Workshops, so why not check when the latest one near you is happening and get your nose in the know…?
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Elemis co-founder and leading aromatherapist Noella Gabriel on her touchstone smells

What attracts us to a beauty product…? What makes us want to use it, time and again? In our case, certainly, the fragrance plays as key a role as any other factor.
Fragrance – or to be precise, aromatherapy – has always been at the heart of everything skincare brand Elemis create. The woman who’s been responsible for most of those smells since 1990, when Elemis launched, is therapist (and Director of Product) Noella Gabriel. Her latest ‘baby’, though – Elemis Life Elixirs – goes beyond skincare, plunging head-first into the world of scent. (’25 years in the making,’ she tells us.)
There are five different mood-shifting creations within Life Elixirs – and each can be enjoyed in candle form, as Bath & Shower Elixirs and (definitely interesting to us) as Perfume Oils: therapeutic formulations of up to 19 different essential oils which can be worn on skin individually, layered – or even, as we’ve been doing, used as a base for other perfumes in our wardrobe, giving it something to ‘cling’ to while enhancing a chosen fragrance with therapeutic properties.
The five Elemis Perfume Oils are…
• Calm – a fusion of patchouli, clary sage, lavandin, rosemary, ylang ylang, cedar wood, guaiac and chamomile. ‘When the pressure of life takes over, it’s time to stop and take stock.’
• Clarity – blending bitter orange, cardamom, ginger, lemon, coriander, eucalyptus, for when we need to ‘stop, breathe, refocus.’
 Embrace – frankincense, patchouli, juniper, vetiver, pink pepper, lavender, opoponax, benzoin and blackcurrant bud feature here. As Elemis put it, ‘Feel the thrill and dive straight into the heart of life’s opportunities with this sensual blend of heady aromatics.’ (We will, we will.)
• Sleep – waft zzz-wards with the blend of vetiver, cedar, mandarin, benzoin, cedarwood, elemi, palmarosa, orange, guaiac, galbanum, petitgrain and patchouli.
• Fortitude – think: geranium, rosemary, frankincense, eucalyptus, patchouli, ylang ylang, clove, petitgrain, vetiver, rose absolute, ylang ylang, cedarwood. ‘Flow across the obstacles that come your way,’ Elemis encourage. ‘Root yourself in the earth and know that you can take whatever’s coming…’

Elemis Life Elixirs Perfume Oils £28 each for 8.5ml perfume oil
At Feelunique
Meanwhile…
As regular readers know, we love to put people ‘on the couch’ by asking their five favourite smells. With scent so central to her life, Noella was more than happy to oblige…
Roses – my grandmother had a small, beautiful rose garden in Ireland and that’s my first memory of her. I think it probably is where my love of aromatics is rooted – all that time ago. Smells were very important to her; she qualified and worked as a cook at a time when women didn’t really work. At home, she’d pick the petals from the roses and put them in a little bowl of water – that was her ‘rosewater’.
Church at Easter – I’m Catholic, and I was a singer, so I’d attend every ritual over Easter. I loved the smell of Easter in the church: that blend of frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon – warm, rich aromatics. You’d leave church on Easter Sunday with the essence of that, in your clothes.
Lavender – the most underestimated herb in the whole world!
Baked apple and cinnamon – from my schoolgirl days; my mother wasn’t the best baker but she made the most wonderful apple pie (and my sister still makes it to the same recipe, today). It takes me back to cold winter’s days, coming in from outdoors to a wood fire burning and not just the scent of the apples but cinnamon, clove…
Baked goat’s cheese – another Irish memory; Baked goat’s cheese was on every menu, long before the ‘foodies’ were around. I love farm scents – takes me back to collecting eggs, cheese being made.
elemis.com

Balance Me benefits – exclusively for VIPs!

We think it’s about time you pampered yourself, don’t you…?
With the distinct lack of sunshine and everyday stresses taking their toll, it’s vital not simply to stop and smell the roses every now and again – but to slather yourself in exqusitely scented things. As one of our VIP passionate perfumistas, you know the myriad of benefits that come from smelling fabulous at all times. With this in mind, we’ve arranged an exclusive VIP offer – just for you!
balance-me-awards
Balance Me is an award-winning aromatherapy‑inspired skincare range beloved by beauty editors around the world. All their products are created with bespoke blends of essential oils selected for their natural aromas as well as their mood‑boosting and skin-enhancing properties. They want you to feel good, look good and smell great – and for further mood-boosting, are offering VIP Subscibers a 10% discount on all orders.
With the code lasting until 31st December, you could even stock-up on stocking gifts if you want to get super-organised!
CODE: VIPTPS
Exp date: 31st December 2016
Terms and conditions: This code entitles the bearer to 10% off at www.balanceme.co.uk  and expires midnight 31/12/16. This code cannot be used in conjunction with any other VIP or LOYALTY codes. Users must be logged in to redeem VIP codes and the code must be entered at the checkout stage. For full terms and conditions please see the Balance Me website.