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

Fenwick’s fragrance hero shares his five favourite smells

Vesa Kalho‘s success story would inspire just about anyone.

20 years ago, this charming Finn began working on the shop floor at Harrods – where he’s risen to the role of Perfumery & Cosmetics Buyer. Today Vesa Kalho is the all-powerful man who decides the destiny of rising star brands, niche names – and fights for the right to exclusives on all the latest blockbusters, which have perfumistas beating a path to the Black Hall, White Hall and, on the Sixth Floor, the Salon de Parfums. Harrods went on to scoop Best Retailer in the Fragrance Foundation Awards for successive years. In 2021, meanwhile, Vesa left Harrods for an exciting new challenge at Fenwick, where we’re looking forward to GREAT excitement!

During his tenure, we’ve had our nostrils delighted by countless exciting perfumes that Vesa has sleuthed out for his customers. We’re always delighted to bump into him at launches (he gets around almost as much as we do) – and are happy to have cornered Vesa for this interview in our revealing ‘Five Favourite Smells’ series.

Here’s what pushes his buttons…

1. A mixture of cinnamon and cardamom – those are the spices my mum always used when baking traditional Scandinavian buns. I’m a kid again when I smell those.

2. A sea breeze – living in Helsinki, the sea air is part of life. When I smell the sea, I always think of home – and that first ozonic blast after I land in Helsinki tells me I’ve really arrived. I love how clean it is, at the same time – a sea breeze washes away everything.

3. Freshly-cut lawn – again, this brings back summers spent in the countryside in Finland, outside Helsinki. Another very nostalgic smell. I am starting to sound homesick, which most of the time I’m not – I love living in London!

4. Orris/iris – definitely my favourite perfume ingredient, although I don’t like it on my own skin; it somehow doesn’t work on me, although I might burn an iris candle. But it’s still my No. 1 perfume note and I’m drawn to it very strongly.

5. New leather – I love the smell of leather; when you buy a new bag and open it up, and get that sweet but animals scent. Just wonderful.

Fenwick, 63 New Bond St, London W1S 1RQ