Perfume As Medicine – Sleepless Nights, Aches And Pains And More

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’EauDior 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 OsmanthusParfum 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-MatAtelier 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 NeroliSerge 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…

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About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Aftelier, Amber, Annick Goutal, Anya's Garden, Armani Privé, Atelier Cologne, Chanel, Chypre, Citrus, Cologne, Comme des Garcons, Dior, Eau d'Italie, Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Frederic Malle, Fruity, Gaultier, Gourmand, Green, Hermès, Incense, L'Artisan Parfumeur, Lostmarc'h, Maison Martin Margiela, Ormonde Jayne, Parfum d'Empire, Penhaligon's, Ramblings, Serge Lutens, Sisley, Tauer Perfumes, Xerjoff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Perfume As Medicine – Sleepless Nights, Aches And Pains And More

  1. FearlessBG says:

    Oh boy, have we got plenty of medicines here! Great post Birgit, a ton of good recommendations… I use incense and lavender perfumes all the time to relax at night or even right before going to bed. And like you, I think orange blossom and osmanthus are among the greatest, uplifiting ingredients to start the day 🙂

    The one time I’m afraid to wear perfume is when I’m feeling very much under the weather or am under too much stress. I’m scared that I’ll associate the fragrance with this situation and might feel sick again later when I smell it. Especially with expensive scents that can be a painful thing…

  2. What a fabulous feature! That surgery had at least one success so far: it inspired you! Thanks!

  3. Tara says:

    Love, love, love it! So many great healing perfume recommendations. They may not be fix things when they go wrong but they can soothe and distract, which counts for a lot. Must try Encens et Lavande, as I also have trouble with lavender heavy perfumes. Trefle Pur is fantastic because it wakes me up and makes me happy. Forgot about the soothing abilities of tea scents; Osmanthus Interdite is on To Buy list. Really love your “list of beauty”, is Frapin 1697 back to normal for you now?

    Glad ambers soothe the pain for you B, hope they are helping right now.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m wearing Mona di Orio Ambre today, and it seems to be doing a fine job (a painkiller and the absence of a certain toddler might contribute as well).

      Fortunately, fingers crossed, Frapin has been behaving well the last few times I have tried it. I’m still a bit wary, but it seems to have been temperature related, either that or I am going crazy…

      • lady jane grey says:

        I was wondering recently, how is your Frapin doing – but was afraid to ask, just in case it’s a painful reminder… I’m happy everything’s fine again with it. (“1697” might be a diva and simply can’t stand hot weather… – but you will see : she loves winter…)

  4. IsabelleMi says:

    I love your article, Birgit, thank you. It is so truthful. I also love your remedies, and I’m happy to notice how many of them we share, too. E.g. Amber and incense scents, and Oesel, Lira, Puredistance I, and Oud – I received MdO-samples today (!), and I’m wearing her Oud now; isn’t it divine… I didn’t know oud could be so lovely. Incredible beautiful, as you said. Osmanthus flower I find the same way as you, too. I find it happy and refreshing – wonderful way to start an early working day (you have tried the OJ shower gel and body lotion, too) especially in the summer time. Best perfumes truly are remedies giving us so much joy.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Isabelle, I’m glad you find this post helpful.
      The Oud is really incredible, isn’t it? My review will be up tomorrow.

      If money were no issue, I’d surely have all the OJ shower and body products. 😉

  5. Lucy says:

    Beautiful! Glad you have your array of perfumes to help you through this time. It’s a use we all know we keep certain perfumes for, the atmosphere to aid us in an uphill battle, or soothe our nerves, or beautify our moments of insomnia.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I love how perfume creates this personal, little space around us, where serenity can be a fragrant, invisible veil to shield us from the world, if needed, or connect us to it…

  6. Mandy Aftel says:

    Thank you Birgit, I’m so glad to be included in your roundup! I obviously love the benefits of living with beautiful perfumes, and appreciate your sharing their positive influences. Mandy Aftel.

  7. Asali says:

    Great post, and thanks for all the suggestions. Since I agree with quite a lot of them, I should definitely try the ones you suggest. For serenity and calm I too reach for Bois d’encens (although, it didn’t work for me in the summer, where it became a bit too masculine) and HdP 1828, my no.1 go to sleep perfume is Vol de Nuit, because it is such a thing of utter beauty (I suppose it belongs in the beauty and general amazing category :-)) My uplifting aid is HdP 1873, food for the soul is like you Iris Ganache and SDV.

  8. Mandy Aftel says:

    It’s easy to make drugs from the best narcotic essences on the planet, and the stuff I’m pushing is legal! Mandy Aftel.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Well, if IFRA and the EU get their way, that may not be the case for very much longer…
      But we’ll gladly follow you to the Black market if worst comes to worst… 🙂

  9. Sandi says:

    I might add with NO dangerous side effects. Great article Brigit;-)

  10. Lavanya says:

    Great post, Birgit! I agree with you on Tango the beginning I found Tango too entertaining to be comforting, but now I find it comforting and enveloping and warm. I am saving up my last few drops till I can buy a mini..

    These days, I am loving wearing BK Sweet redemption to sleep. There is something so juicy yet warm about it- it is instant happiness. Also the husband loves it, so that is always a plus..:)
    I know you hate them, but I have also worn Montale Black Aoud and White Aoud as sleep scents too (when my husband is out of town) – I find them incredibly comforting.

    Therese is beautiful. I realize, I love smelling it, but unfortunately don’t always enjoy wearing it. I love smelling it on my mom though- it suits her to a T.

  11. Vanessa says:

    Thanks for sending me not one but two “cures for all diseases” in the shape of Fleur du Male and Sweet Redemption!

    And I so agree about Puredistance 1 being in the “incredible beauty” category. Quite by chance I wore it for the first time on the day my computer died (not the netbook, my main one!), and it gave me comfort all day long as I sat on the phone to umpteen different people manning the technical helplines…

  12. deeHowe says:

    Sometimes when I need a mood lift, I’ll choose a fragrance I associate with someone that makes me happy, or with a time that was especially fond. For example, the other night I was feeling a little disoriented, and reached for Jill Sander Sun and layered it with Bronze Goddess—I associate that combo with my best friend 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      What a sunny personality said friend must have, or maybe she just cleverly utilizes these perfumes to fake one. Fake it, ’til you make it, as they say…

      I’m glad you found something to make you feel better. xo

  13. jedennard says:

    Lots of great ideas and recommendations in this post! I agree with your ideas about the tea, lavender, and green notes and what they can do for the mind. Similar to your story about the surgery, I am always hesitant to wear something when I am experiencing negative emotions because of the possibility of linking that scent to bad experiences.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That can always happen of course, but on the whole I find perfume helps me get through a bad experience. It is what stands out as good, when I look back, and hopefully outshines the negative.

  14. civava says:

    Looking for a help for my today’s migraine. I’ll try By Kilian painkiller.

  15. andrea says:

    Female flu, which is far worse than man flu, I reached for Cortina by Made in Italy, I dont have to think about the fragrance and its components. The sweetness wraps me up like a warm hug whilst the icy coolness of the perfume helps with my temperature or maybe in my flu induced haze I am imagining all the above.:-)

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  17. jenmeade says:

    Fabulous article! But I always find those here. 🙂

    I am swimming in vintage Miss Dior today as a last-ditch effort to retain some humanity after a rough 2 weeks of being sick – with no end in site. I am sad that I have no L’Air du Desert Moracain, as that is warming and dry and comforting when I’m painful. I also enjoy anything with Major Presence: if find they help drown out all of the achies a bit. In that category: Amouage (any), some of my DSH’s, and any of my butt-kicking patchoulis.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Jen, you are always leaving such lovely comments that brighten my day, thank you! 🙂
      I’m sorry to hear you have been/are still sick. I hope Miss Dior is helping! I wish I could come over with an emergency kit of life-saving fumes, Dr Perfume to the rescue. Get better soon, fragrant hugs!

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