Perfume is as equally alluring as it is personal. Each woman has her signature scent that defines her style and creates an enchanting air of glamour like an invisible coat of armour. Fragrance delicately infuses with our identity on a mystical and subliminal level leaving us feeling empowered and ready to face the world.
We all have our favourite scent, mine has been CK One for a long time now. However, just as our personal style evolves and adapts to our present circumstances, so does our choice in perfume. But what is it about the heady aromas that causes us to form an instant connection?
The answer lies in science. The sense of smell is the only sense to cause such deep emotional access with the brain. According to scientific research, on the first encounter with a scent, you begin to form nerve connections which fuse together the smell with the emotion felt at the time of the encounter. Our reaction to both smell and emotion are processed through the same network of brain structures, the limbic system. In addition to this, the part of the brain that recognises scent, the olfactory centre also communicates with the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for the formation of new memories. This complex scientific process is also known more commonly as the Butterfly Effect. Scent acts as a trigger allowing us to access a whole bank of memories and emotions that we have stored up over time.
One of my first and strongest memories about fragrance stems from my childhood. When I was little, I used to sit and watch my mum get ready for going out. One of my favourite things about her routine was the last touch that brought the whole look together, the final spritz of perfume. Her signature scent is Trésor by Lancôme. The bottle sat proudly on her dresser, subtly demanding attention in the most tantalizing way. The scent is elegant and authoritative and translates so much about my mother that I cannot see or put into words. Simply put, that fragrance represents her.
As humans, we have such a strong connection with scents. They can transport us back to times in our life that seem like a distant memory or bring us closer to people who sadly, are no longer with us. The wistful presence of perfumes in our daily life reminds us of who we used to to be. The free-spirited teenager who was eager to explore the world, the doting girlfriend or the cool and collected city girl enjoying her first job. Each chapter of our lives is marked by a particular scent and with just one spritz of fragrance, we can relive these memories again, even if it’s just for a fleeting moment.1