Right now we all need a bit of help to uplift and empower our spirits, and fragrance is an instantaneous way to enable that. Apart from the lovely fragrances themselves, focusing on your sense of smell helps control your breathing and forces your mind to concentrate on something beautiful for a change.
Our sense of smell is directly linked to our limbic system, which stores memories and emotions, so using scent to uplift, unwind or soothe is a brilliant way of dealing with anxiety. Taking time to care for yourself should not be a luxury – it helps you face the day feeling revived and ready to go.
Here’s how to ward off an anxiety attack or lift your spirits with scent:
- Take a few minutes to spray a fragrance on a blotter or thick piece of paper.
- Close your eyes while smelling it and see where it takes you. Don’t try to guess all the notes (it’s almost impossible unless you’re a trained perfumer!) instead, let your imagination run wild…
- If this fragrance was a place, where would it be? Allow your mind to take you there.
- Or, if this scent were a person, who would they be? Imagine yourself as that confident character.
- Learn which fragrances help you feel stronger – you can ‘borrow’ strength from scent any time you need it, just like a dressing-up box of perfumed empowerment!
You can try this with any fragrance you own, but here’s some new scents to try whenever you need to uplift and empower your day…
Founder David Benedek enlisted Alexandra Carlin to conjure up the rocky, sun-drenched Mediterranean playground of Capri for the newest in BDK’s line-up – ‘an invitation to live the dolce vita,’ and one that’s certainly welcome as the days shorten and the thermometer plummets. Bring summer back in a spritz via Verdelli lemon, neroli, petitgrain and orange blossom, with vetiver, patchouli, labdanum resin and vanilla drifting in as the sun sets on this imaginary villa.
£155 for 100ml eau de parfum
Continuing Sussex-based perfumer Nancy Meiland’s mindful ‘Awaken’ blends, this latest fragrant attar ‘is a shimmering lilac addition’, and ‘beams with higher frequency naturals that evoke purest, white light, a return to the eternal spring of all life.’ A gentle sparkle from mandarin and mint freshens rose, osmanthus and jasmine, while rare shamama oil (herbaceous yet woody) grounds. Like starlight on water – coolly clearing, calming and centring in the madness of life.
£50 for 30ml attar
Fragrance’s spiritual mood is expressed in this ‘mantra-centric’ creation within Initio’s Hedonist Collection, drawing on ‘sacred woods and plants’, notably powerfully purifying and protective sage and Palo Santo wood. Close your eyes and meditate on how those notes drift through bergamot, lavender, black pepper, delivering on Paragon’s promise to bestow an ‘aura around the physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.’ Olfactory enlightenment.
£240 for 90ml extrait de parfum
If you have the olfactory equivalent of Seasonal Affective Disorder, veil yourself in the scent equivalent of a radiant shaft of sunlight, bottled for our enjoyment on gloomy winter days (and nights). As luminous as the name promises, this woody-floral blend showcases ambrette seed, reminiscent of ‘tropical bliss’, delivering not only warmth but a hint of fruity wine; it is entwined with jasmine, the sparkling whole tethered by a note of steam-distilled cedar.
From £57 for 30ml eau de parfum
So, Miss Kate Moss has tapped into her spiritual side, embracing meditation and mindfulness with her signature gusto. And we couldn’t be happier with that metamorphosis, expressed via her Cocomoss skincare collection, also offering us an astonishingly accomplished Chypre creation in which subtle jasmine and tuberose fuse with geranium and bergamot. It’s the sense-soothing, calming notes of oakmoss, cedarwood and tonka that we’re spritzing and re-spritzing – on and off the yoga mat.
£120 for 100ml eau de parfum