The Joy of Perfume

The Joy of Perfume

By Kathy A. Megyeri

Each day, Jackie Kennedy wore the French perfume “Lovely Patchouli 55” from the House of Krigler, which sold for $365 for 3.4 oz. Obviously, it made her happy, reminded her of someone she loved or took her back to her childhood. Smell is the most powerful human sense and thus is a terrific mood booster during these trying times.

According to psychotherapist Darryl Appleton, MD, “Comfort and security can result from understanding what helps to calm and soothe or what makes us feel strong and powerful, unique and important and that’s different for everyone, but looking to our five senses can help us reach an inner feeling of tranquility, happiness or confidence.”

Appleton continues, “Smell is a secret weapon to help us take on a task. Putting on your favorite perfume can equate to the feeling you get when you put on lipstick or mascara—it can make you feel alert, ready, powerful or calm. And the simple psychological explanation is that smells through the olfactory system have strong ties to the memory center of the brain, like the smell of a new baby or freshly cut grass. Even one signature scent can be tied to our confidence by reminding us of times we felt good.” 

Typically, citrus smells are linked to feeling clean. Earthy or woody scents make some feel calm, especially the scent of lavender or eucalyptus, but one has to experiment. Stephen Watkins, a fragrance application scientist for Givaudan, the world’s largest flavor and fragrance company, said, “Wearing perfume taps into a way to enhance one’s well-being and self-esteem.”

Is it any wonder then that losing one’s sense of smell is one of the most devastating effects of COVID-19? And when women ask which fragrances have been around the longest and stood the test of time, these top three best sellers have a cult following because they can even be worn to work and women wearers claim that men love the smell:

  • Flowerbomb Eau de Parfum by Viktor and Rolf, $85 at for 3.4 oz. The bottle is shaped like a grenade and has a feminine, floral scent of jasmine, freesia and rose.
Flowerbomb perfume
Flowerbomb perfume by Viktor and Rolf
  • Pleasures Eau de Parfum Spray by Estée Lauder and designed by Evelyn Lauder is certainly the most affordable at $46 for 3.4 oz. It was designed to smell like flowers after a spring rain with white lily, violet and green leaves.
Pleasures perfume by Estee Lauder
Pleasures perfume by Estée Lauder
  • Coco Mademoiselle Eau De Parfum Spray by Chanel at $85 for 1.2 oz. is a modern classic that probably your mother wore as its scents are of orange, jasmine, vanilla and rose.
Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel
Coco Mademoiselle by Chanel

But Roz Johe of St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania, wears Clinque’s “Happy” fragrance at $52 for 3.4 oz.  She says, “It smells so fresh and delightful but is not at all attention-getting. Its scent remains in my closet and in my car and I get so many compliments when I wear it. People say they smell me before they see me and then they tell me that I smell ‘delightful’.”

Roz’s love of perfume led to her valuable collection of over 100 miniature antique perfume bottles and some even hold traces of the original perfume. Her most valuable are of Venetian glass and are becoming more difficult to find, so whenever she’s in Europe, the first place she visits are antique shops where invariably, she can locate an older and more precious small perfume bottle to add to her 13-year-old collection, probably worth now over $3,000. 

Is it any wonder that Clinque’s Happy fragrance has made her so happy while adding to her awareness of the importance of perfume in women’s lives? Share your favorite perfumes and the reasons that such fragrances enhance their lives during these trying times in the comments below.


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