Perfumer H launches Mask First Aid – mask-friendly fragrances

Perfumer H (a.k.a Lyn Harris) has launched two Mask First Aid scents – safe enough to spray on your face mask…

The collection of hand-crafted linen items and mask-safe scents (they have to be ‘food grade’ tested to be worn so close to your mouth, we’ve learned), springs from ‘…a creative partnership between Perfumer H and Arts & Science, Japan. Eastern craft meets western perfumery.’

Lyn had the idea for creating scents ‘during lock down after a conversation she had with her Japanese partner, Sonya Park of Arts & Science.’ Sonya had explained that wearing a face-covering was ‘…an integral part of the Japanese culture and how she felt it would be so great if Lyn could create something to help this new necessity for us all much more pleasurable.’

Thinking of the beautiful, uplifting and calming properties of two already much-loved fragrances in the collection, Lyn created special mask-friendly versions of ‘…Orange Flower, for its simplicity and beauty,’ and ‘Cucumber, as it is very neutral and with a touch of mint leaf gives a pleasant freshness.’

These delicately fragranced offerings sound like a complete boon for anyone havong to wear a mask for a number of hours, or for anyone looking to find a moment of perfumed pleasure during these tumultuous days…

 

Orange Flower: ‘Delicate orange blossom Tunisia centres the heart, enhanced with lemon Sicily, mandarin green and violet leaf France resting on a base of white musk completing this smooth floral cologne.’

 

Cucumber: ‘A transparent cologne composed around a simple fusion of watery cucumber sap and green woods, bringing a unique twist to this culinary delicacy. Top notes of bergamot, watermelon and lemon rind fused with cedar wood, vetiver and sea moss, empowered in a cool musk, making this an irresistible clean feast for the summer time.’

The masks are all hand made from a high-density weave with a super fine linen gauze (100% linen) and constructed in a three-layer structure to aid protection.

The mask comes in a special box with either of the two fragrances, £40 for 50ml. Exclusively from the Perfumer H, Marylebone store, and Arts & Science Japan.

Looking for other fragrances to soothe frayed nerves? We rounded up a collection of some favourite calming scents to spray away the blues (though these are for personal use, not made for masks). Now then, let’s all take a deep breath…

By Suzy Nightingale

Petrichor & Pluviophiles: why the smell of rain is so seductive

Petrichor is the term given to that unique scent following a rain shower – when the world seems to sigh with pleasure, and we, unconsciously perhaps, breathe in a little more deeply, savouring the smells in return.

petrichor /PET-ri-ker/. noun. The smell of rain on hot earth or pavement. From Greek petra (stone, rock) + ichor (or I-KORE) which, in Ancient Greek mythology, was the liquid that flowed in the veins of the gods.

Coined by scientists Isabel Joy Bear and Richard Thomas in 1964, the term ‘petrichor’ was used in their scientific article, The Nature of Argillaceous Odour, observing that cattle seemed to react strongly to this particular smell of fresh rainfall, following the scent to seek drinking water.

Some people believe that ‘petrichor’ alludes to smell of rain itself, but they are mistaken. It’s in the moment raindrops kiss the arrid land the magic happens. Rainwater releases micro-organisms hidden in the earth, mixed with the smell of plant oils and ozone itself: that’s petrichor.

It smells like a secret.

 

 

Though we’re only recently aware exactly how the phenomenon occurs, poets and artists have long been seduced by the scent following a downpour, and in 1916 James Joyce had a good guess at the science when he wrote in A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, how:

‘…the trees in Stephen’s Green were fragrant of rain and the rain-sodden earth gave forth its mortal odour, a faint incense rising upward through the mould from many hearts.’

Perfumer H, Lyn Harris, bottled the smell in her utterly joyous fragrance, Rain Wood, coaxing a sense of new beginnings with the snapped-stalk freshness and lacey leaf smell of galbanum. Swirling tender shoots in a foggy haze, green angelica settles on camphoraceous cedar, punctuated by juniper berries and pine trees bejewelled with spider webs; and beneath it all a loamy rumble of rich patchouli amidst the nebulous drift of Joyce’s evocative incense. More than a perfume, it’s a thing to wear and wonder at for hours.

 

Perfumer H Rain Wood, from £100 for 50ml eau de parfum

Petrichor led former civil servant Barney Shaw on a journey of discovery in his book, The Smell of Fresh Rain. But though we can now trace the origin, it doesn’t dampen our seemingly primal urge to rush out and gasp great lung-fulls of the smell. For, as Shaw explains:

 

‘…we recognise smells not as a mix of separately-identified components, but as a ‘chord’ that makes an odour we can recognise, a smell with a meaning. Not petrichor and geosmin, but the smell of fresh rain.’

 

I wonder, too, if we’re experiencing a kind of mass synaesthesia – an overlapping of synaptic responses – after a rainshower? Perhaps the scent of petrichor plus the soothing sound of the raindrops (so often used on sleep apps and calming soundtracks to quieten troubled minds) adds to the feeling of a slate wiped clean?

 

 

Explain it how you like; petrichor is a lullaby for the senses, and wearing Rain Wood is a precipitation of joy for we pluviophiles.

Written by Suzy Nightingale