‘Smell is the primordial sense, more powerful, more primitive, more intimately tied to our memories and emotions than any other. A scent can trigger spiritual, emotional or physical peace and stimulate healing and wellness.’
The last 12 months has been full of cancelled plans, lives put on hold and making the most of small pleasures, while we wait. The long-term effects of Covid-19 are unknown, yet one of the earliest symptoms of the virus is the loss of taste and smell. Did you know that most of our sense of taste comes from what we smell? Try holding your nose and see the difference it makes, or think back to when you last had a heavy cold, you get a blocked nose and we all say we can't taste anything .
With no sense of smell it's goodbye to the aroma of freshly baked banana bread (the most popular home bake during the pandemic apparently), that delicious rich roast morning coffee and the way wearing your favourite perfume makes you feel.
Perfumers and artisans spend years perfecting their craft, blending, experimenting, sourcing, and testing ingredients to create fragrances to suit every mood. Some are timeless, others of the moment, all of them can be just for you, or to fill your home.
Francois Demachy, the perfumer known as the “nose” of Dior said recently in an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine – “I wonder if now that so many people have experienced the loss of smell as a symptom of Covid, we will come to appreciate our noses more?”
For those who have had the virus, being aware of fragrances again and the power that fragrance has to transport us to another time and place, is like being given a special gift, one most of us take for granted. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly mown grass, or that fabulous hit of citrus when you slice into lemons or limes for that well deserved G&T, the heady aroma of incense, or the smell of a real Christmas tree?
Our sense of smell has been vital for humans since time began, to protect us, lead us and connect us, but nowadays we can simply enjoy fragrance because it makes everything more pleasurable. The roses in our gardens, the perfumes we choose for ourselves and the fragrances we fill our homes with. As Dior himself said “fragrance is the finishing touch”
And yet, it’s not just about the now…all our memories are locked safely away in the furthest recesses of our minds, until a smell triggers one, and all at once it comes flooding back, conjuring long forgotten moments, emotions and feelings, across our entire lives. Good or bad. That is the power of fragrance – to awaken, reveal and recreate memory.
In our busy lives we should all take time to notice how fragrances make us feel; calm, revitalised, energised, sultry or happy, they do it without us even knowing.
As @sarahjossel a beauty director who temporarily lost her sense of smell to Covid said “I feel like an overexcited child in a sweetshop, being able to smell fragrance once more. It has reignited a lovely spark – one I will never take for granted again”
Fragrance has the power to create or enhance a mood, to set a scene, trigger memories or fill us with joy. None of us should take our sense of smell for granted, without it our lives would be so much poorer, and our memories left locked away to fade.
Fragrance: where will it take you to?