We all know perfume is powerful and that is why we love it. Perfume is able to conjure memories, to evoke feelings, to influence moods. Perfume is a force to be reckoned with.
Nothing works better at making us happy, content, even making us laugh, than good perfume.
But what about those times when we do not feel at our best? When we are tired, sick, ill, angry or sad? When life throws roadblocks in our way and we struggle to get over or around them?
Perfume is able to help in such situations, that much seems clear. But which ones to choose?
Which perfume helps us calm, relax, sleep, cheers us up, makes the pain easier or at least distracts us through its beauty?
Here are a few fragrant remedies I have found helpful for myself over time: (To see reader’s answers and to post your own fragrant remedies, take a look at today’s Monday Question)
Calming Perfumes: To calm down an exited soul, an angry heart or a highly strung, stressed out brain, there is nothing better than incense, I like Commes des Garcons Kyoto, Tauer Incense Extreme or Armani Privé Bois d’Encens. I also find tea scents very calming, the best is Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini. Something else I love to wear when I need to calm down is L’Artisan Parfumeur Safran Troublant, despite its name, it is no trouble at all, the rose and saffron combination is soft and warm, calming and reassuring.
Downers – Sleeping Aids: Lavender scents have a long and well documented tradition of being beneficial in aiding sleep, I don’t have many lavender scents, as I often find them to be harsh and masculine in their treatment of the note. In Xerjoff Casamorati Lira lavender is very soft and feminine, cradled in a gourmand base, it is my favorite sleep scent so far. Serge Lutens Encens et Lavande is said to be a good sleeping aid as well. I use mostly lavender essential oil to scent the rooms of my boys and the master bed room. a few drops on the sheets or a diffuser in the room have proven quite helpful, although I yet have to see my younger boy sleeping through the night once. So maybe I am not quite the expert in the field of sleep inducement…
Uppers – Wake-me-up scents: To get me going nothing works better than green perfumes. Fragrances like Maison Martin Margiela Untitled L’Eau, Dior Granville, Chanel Bel Respiro, Chanel N°19, Sisley Eau de Campagne or Atelier Cologne Trefle Pur work just lovely. Most of these perfumes do not last very long, they deliver their initial boost and by the time they have worn off a couple of hours later, I am ready to move on with another SotD anyway.
Pain Medication: When I am hurting (and I am looking at you, dear right wrist!) I crave heavy amber scents. Somehow their deep resonance, their dark charms make me forget pain and discomfort, they distract me through their presence and make me hunt down notes rather than concentrate on what is painful in my body right now. Balsamo della Mecca, Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche, Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan, Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe, Armani Privé Ambre Orient, are all wonderful pain killers. For people preferring a lighter amber caliber L’Artisan Parfumeur L’Eau d’Ambre or Dior Mitzah could do the trick.
Antidepressants: I find osmanthus flower works wonders on my mood, the sheer happiness of this apricot smelling Chinese flower makes my day better in an instant. Check out Ormonde Jayne Osmanthus, Parfum d’Empire Osmanthus Interdite and Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan. Fresh florals like Ormonde Jayne Champaca, Eau d’Italie Jardin du Poète , Ormonde Jayne Frangipani, By Kilian Prelude To Love or Hermès Un Jardin sur le Toit possess an intrinsic happiness it is hard to withstand, they are infectious. Citrus based scents are a great source of happiness as well, the best I have found so far are Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Parfum d’Empire Yuzu Fou, Lostmarc’h Ael-Mat, Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine, Frederic Malle Bigarade Concentrée and Aftelier Candide.
Food For The Soul: An important group are the chocolate-equivalents of the perfume world, the gourmands. I love chocolate, but it is probably not the best idea to eat as much as I would need, therefore the fragrant version is very much appreciated. Favorite gourmand scents for those “I need chocolate – stat!” moments are: Parfumerie Gènèrale Musc Maori, Jo Malone Sweet Milk, By Kilian Love, Lostmarc’h Lann-Ael, Mona di Orio Vanille, Guerlain Iris Ganache and Spiritueuse Double Vanille, Hermes Ambre Narguilé and DSH Winter White. Although sometimes only the read deal will do…
And finally – A Cure for All Diseases: Penhaligon’s Orange Blossom is sunshine in a bottle prescribed by Dr Duchaufour, nothing can go wrong there. Other orange blossom scents to consider are the sublime L’Artisan Parfumeur Fleurs d’Oranger, Atelier Cologne Grand Neroli, Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger , Xerjoff Oesel, By Kilian Sweet Redemption or Gaultier Fleur du Male.
As a last category, I’d like to add some perfumes that lift me up, simply because of their incredible beauty. Whenever I am not feeling my best, whatever the reason, there are a few perfumes to remind of what is good and beautiful in this world. And that is a powerful tool to have at hand. It took me a while to learn that it is not necessary to contentrate on the bad things all the time, that it is perfectly fine to delight in things of beauty. They have a value too. It is not essential to try to save the world every day (and inevitably fail, of course). My list of beauty includes Frapin 1697, Puredistance I, Mona di Orio Oud, Le Parfum de Thérèse, Aftelier Tango and Amouage Epic, Lyric and Honour.
Perfume is my favorite drug. And as long as I do not have to beg, steal and lie to get it, I guess it is all good…