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
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.

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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!
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With the code lasting until 31st December, you could even stock-up on stocking gifts if you want to get super-organised!
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Pressure getting to you? Aromatherapy Associates’ Geraldine Howard shares her five fave smells (and we feel calmer already)

If you love fragrance, we’ve a hunch you love aromatherapy. And few ranges we’ve ever tried have come close to the truly mood-shifting powers of Aromatherapy Associates, the company founded over 30 years ago by Geraldine Howard (pictured here) and Sue Beechey.
Famously, Relax Deep is like knockout drops. And if you’re repeatedly hitting the ‘snooze’ button right now, can we recommend Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil, a wake-you-up-smiling blend of pink grapefruit, rosemary and juniper? (It’s almost worth getting a hangover at the office party, simply to put it to the true test.)
Most recently, Geraldine has created a special and exclusive blend for Liberty: Clear Mind Bath & Shower Oil, which is just fantastic for this stressed-to-excess time of year. It combines lavender and chamomile, in particular, together with grounding frankincense and reviving, mind-focusing bergamot.
Our favourite tip is to rub a drop or two between the palms and inhale deeply – ideally, before 15 minutes of Headspace meditation. (Read more about Headspace here.) The oils aren’t cheap – but a capful under running water fills the house with its scent, which then lingers soothingly for hours.
We caught up with Geraldine at the launch in Liberty’s Heritage Suite, and asked her to share her five favourite smells.
1. ‘Frankincense has to be right up there, because it centres me, gives me clarity – and it literally feels like it’s giving me strength, at the same time. It’s clean and clearing and I think of it as “the protector” oil.’
2. ‘The Gertrude Jekyll rose is the one that comes up roses, for me! It’s a deep pink, almost crimson bloom which to me is the absolute embodiment of the rose scent. I love walking around gardens literally taking time to stop and smell the roses: The Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley garden, Anglesey Abbey…’
3. ‘The smell of baking is the most comforting smell I can think of. If I have time, I love to bake bread and cakes.’
4. ‘Van Cleef & Arpels First. I’ve loved this perfume for more years than I can count: it makes me feel elegant when I wear it, and ready to face the world. It’s literally the only one I wear, nowadays.
5. ‘Bergamot is the most amazing pick-me-up; it’s more subtle than most citrus oils, with a terrific energy – and just fantastic for releasing stress. I’ve smelled it on the tree in Italy and it’s really quite astonishing.’
If pre-Christmas panic is setting in, meanwhile, Geraldine recommends blends which include frankincense (for focus and clarity), chamomile and lavender (to release tension), bergamot and palmarosa, to replenish energy.
Or you could just nip to Liberty (or simply click here) and treat yourself to a bottle of Clear Mind. A drop in the palms, breathed with eyes closed – and we’re finding the panic melts clean away before you can say ‘Hamleys’.
If you know what we mean…
Aromatherapy Associates Clear Mind Bath & Shower Oil/£48 for 50ml
Try it at Liberty