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Scent Sensibility

By New You Editorial
Posted On Jul 12, 2016
Scent Sensibility

Sights and sounds are delightful but emotional recall comes from the sense of smell. Use your nose to unlock the past and influence the future.

By Sarah Bannister

Patti Kapla, vice president of business development for FrangranceNet.com, explains why scent is the most powerful link to such memories. According to Kapla, smell is the only one of the five senses directly linked to emotions. The olfactory bulb is a part of the limbic system, our emotional brain. That’s why the scent of a freshly baked pie (the kind your mom made) or “new car smell” trigger such nostalgia. Scents call up memories and emotions before we’re conscious of them. These connections stay with us for a lifetime. Kapla and other beauty innovators really know how to play into the sense of smell, identifying ways to harness its power to amplify personal and professional success.

“Picking an officefriendly fragrance can be difficult if you want something nice and crisp but don’t want to offend co-workers,” says Kapla. (More than a few women have lost out on promotions due to overbearing perfume.) “Citrus notes, combined with florals, are excellent for the office—they’re energetic yet soft and subtle.” Intimately Yours by Beckham and Calvin Klein Sheer Beauty should suit this aim nicely. If you’re searching for Mr. Right or jumping into the dating game after a hiatus, Kapla suggests scents with one subtly sweet note—vanilla.

This classic and tasty ingredient is present in many alluring eau de toilettes—and men can’t get enough. “Fragrance is an accessory,” insists Kapla. “Rich wood and musky, flowery combinations are best. They’re classical and elegant, yet still fun.” Simply Belle and Kenzo Jungle are two perfect choices. A necessary aside: “Too much” can lead to “not enough,” at least in the romance department. Dab, don’t douse, your signature scent.

Always remember the words of Coco Chanel: “A woman should wear perfume wherever she wants to be kissed.” It’s widely suggested to hit your “pulse points,” where your blood vessels lie close to your skin and therefore allow an optimal emanation of your signature scent.

These pulse points reside at your inner wrists, at your cleavage, at earlobes, behind the knees, at the inner elbows, and—of course—at the base of the throat. Come on, couldn’t you stand to be kissed in these places a little more frequently? In today’s techforward universe, vision and hearing are pandered to far more than the sense of smell. Yet scent speaks to our primordial drives, to our feelings and memories.

The fragrance industry is abundantly alive with inspiring fragrances that will suit your sensibilities—all the while reminding you of more sweet, carefree days of yore. Do some experimenting, and don a scent that can tie you to your past, present, and future.


Vanilla originated in what’s now known as Mexico and Guatemala. Madagascar prides itself on growing the highest quality bourbon vanilla. “Vanilla is sexy,” says Dana Zia of “The Go Lightly Gourmet” blog. “It has seduced people for centuries. Even its creation is sexy—birthed from the vanilla orchid, the only orchid bearing edible fruit.”

Find it in: Simply Belle by Exceptional Parfums, Shalimar by Guerlain.

Tuberose, a night-blooming plant native to Mexico, is used in many fragrances. In high concentrations, it makes a stirring scent for night. By day, an unobtrusive floral is known to boost one’s concentration.

Find it in: Flora “Gracious Tuberose” by Gucci, Tuberose Gardenia by Estée Lauder Private Collection.

Sandalwood originated in Australia but has been used for centuries in India, Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands. “Sandalwood oil is relaxing, soothing, cooling, centering, and sensual” according to Auracacia.com.“It promotes restful sleep and helps to ease an anxious mind.” Sandalwood and its oil are used in many different ways—aromatherapy and spiritual uses, as well as carving the wood itself in decorative arts.

Find it in: Donna Karan Cashmere Mist, Creed Royal-Oud, and Casmir by Chopard

Musk has been used since ancient times, originating from the gland of the musk deer.It’s now made in synthetic forms. “Musk is most often used as the name of the scent of arousal in both men and women,” according to Urbandictionary.com.

Find it in: Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, Skin Musk Parfums de Coeur