Fabulous Fragrances

Fabulous Fragrances For Feelings Of Joy

Stuff That Smells Good

aromatherapy

Proust wasn’t kidding!

Marcel Proust caught onto the idea that something in our sensory memory holds on to certain aromas, and ignites vivid and wonderful memories of people, places, and circumstances. Nothing seems to go deeper into the inner reaches of our consciousness.

Proust was a French writer of the beginning of the last century. Popularly known for his evocative prose, he wrote a famous passage detailing the sensory experiences of his childhood.

Summing up his story, he said,

“When nothing else subsists from the past,” he wrote, “after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered…the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls…bearing resiliently, on tiny and almost impalpable drops of their essence, the immense edifice of memory.”

Science corroborates Proust: The olfactory center interacts directly with the hippocampus, a brain area involved in the formation of new memories.

“For the sense of smell, almost more than any other, has the power to recall memories and it is a pity that we use it so little.”

– Rachel Carson said that.

In the present as well, to be able to breathe deeply of a pleasant aromatic smell is to enter most deeply into an experience of that moment, of that thing.

There are times that a fragrance is the most relaxing, uplifting thing we can experience. Something not unlike the use of incense in a ritual, a delightful smell that will raise the spirit and pull the soul into a comfortable pause. Just to breathe a bit more deeply -as if to catch and hold the inhalation of the good aroma.

“Sweet tastes reduce pain by activating opioid systems in the brain, and the odor comes to activate the same systems”

-says Australian psychologist John Prescott.

So there is more to feeling good when smelling sweet scents than we might first have thought!

There are all sorts of fragrance and cosmetic lines, but Lush products have a …lushness that is delightful, but not cloying the way some bath and body products are. Let me tell you the story of how I discovered LUSH products ( and yes, their company is spelled with all capital letters), and other delightful smelling things that make life more pleasurable. LUSH! Discover something deliciously fragrant, and you can thank me later.

This Is About Good Smells

It isn’t just about a product, but about using aromas to better your quality of life. Take time to smell the roses! … and vanilla, and jasmine…. and -you get the drift 🙂

Top Summer Fragrances for Women

As reported by Byrdie , Cosmopolitan, and others…

Wonder what evening perfumes last the longest?

  1. Jo Malone Queen of Pop Amber & Lavender Cologne
  2. Gucci Bloom Acqua di Fiori Eau de Toilette
  3. Love the Way You Feel By Kilian
  4. Aerin Amber Musk
  5. Tiffany & Co Eau de Parfum
  6. Cartier La Panthère eau de toilette
  7. Elizabeth & James Nirvana Bourbon
  8. Marc Jacobs Rain
  9. Victoria’s Secret Love Eau de Parfum
  10.  CK One Summer

How might fragrance affect you?

Known responses to scents

Certain essential oils can trigger physical or emotional effects, here are some examples of how aromas affect moods or responses in alertness or calm.
fragrances
Ylang-ylang promotes calmness and reduces stress.

Rosemary has demonstrated the ability to reduce cortisol levels. It promotes feelings of contentment.

Lavender also reduces cortisol levels and increases feeling of contentment and heightens cognitive performance. Said to promote positive mother-infant interactions and deep sleep for all of us.

Peppermint scent has been found to increase memory and alertness.

Lemon oil may possess anti-depressant-type effects.

Health Benefits Of Scent

Lemony Fresh

lemon slice
Lemony fresh

Lemon and sweet sugar are a recipe for a delightful summer scent. That makes this refreshing and warm aroma just right for your shower gel.

Try layering fragrance from bath to lotion and on to a few drops of cologne in the same scent.

We associate the smell of lemon with the freshness and sparkle we expect from a clean environment. You can find many products with a lemon fragrance added. Many plants also have a lemon smell, lemon verbena is a famous one, and lemon thyme or certain scented pelargoniums, for instance.

Early studies from the 1920’s looked into the idea that the effects of scent on mood. They indicated that when inhaled, citrus scents relax, calm blood pressure and breathing, and regulate circulation.

“Essential oils from plants are very powerful chemicals that influence brain chemistry, hormone production, and stress levels… A study of depressed men showed that citrus fragrance in their room reduced their intake of antidepressants.” – The Human Brain

I have a crush on LUSH
LUSH bath bomb
LUSH bath bomb

Amazingly Good Scent: Bath Bombs Make Great Smelling Gifts

Lush bath bombs are intensely perfumed with wonderful formulations with fun names. Pop one in the bath for a really indulgent experience.

Come out smelling like a rose… or any number of beautiful aromas.

Received For Christmas, Enjoyed Long After

Aromatherapy, the very word means to breathe in… as a Christmas present one of my sons gave me a gift of handmade “bath bombs” from a company called LUSH.

Almost “too good to use”, have you felt that way about something? So good that it almost seems as though it should be saved, set aside for some special future, undefined except that it is special.

The fresh lovely smells of these loosely wrapped and intensely fragrant balls wafted up from the gift box, so that I kept it by my chair just so I could inhale the perfume.

Finally, it found its way into my lingerie drawer… I really will need to buy more so I can bring myself to use this gift in a luxurious bath session!

I have something of an allergy to modern artificial scents, so I am entranced and adore scents that are fresh and real. LUSH products are of that caliber. I think I have a crush on these bath and cosmetic products.

When some say,”That smells divine”, it denotes something that brought them a little closer to that blissful heavenly feeling that sweet aromas seem to inspire.

More Lushness

  • “Lord of Misrule”
  • “Cheer Up Buttercup”
  • “The Big Sleep”
  • “Green Coconut”


You have to admit the names that LUSH calls their products are cute. They give you a smile even before you open a lid or unwrap a bath bomb.

If you are thinking about Tropical fruit when you look at this pretty yellow bath bomb you are right on target. Waft the smell of fresh cut mangoes, coconut and pineapple and you get the idea of how this will juice up the bath waters.

Aromatherapy Is Not Just Alternative, It’s Primal

In many ways aromatherapy is a part of life that we just don’t label that way.

Delightful Aromas Surround Us Every Day

Lavender in the sun
Lavender in the sun

Think about:

  • the aroma of fresh-baked bread
  • smelling the roses
  • clean wash
  • sun dried linens
  • the crush of mint
  • lavender sprigs
  • ocean breezes
  • fresh fruit smells

Aromatherapy Works

smell takes a direct route to the limbic brain, where emotional memories are processed – and where stress hormones do their worst damage

Roses – Everyone loves a rose…

Rose in my garden.
Rose in my garden.

The Nuance Of Rose Fragrance

Sweet, rich, sumptuous. That is the way I would describe the smells of rose petals, whether they are of true rose, tea, myrrh, or any of the numerous notes detected within rose fragrance.

It is an odor that has been loved since ancient times, giving itself to not only perfumes, but foods and cosmetic products. Mixing well with other scents, often found in perfume blends, the rose is an all sensory treat.

Perfumes With Rose Notes

Do you have a favorite rose perfume?

Some with rose notes: Anne Klein, Arpege Lanvin, Beautiful (EstĂ©e Lauder), Bellodgia Caron, Chanel No.5, Delicious (Gale Hayman),Dolce & Gabbana… and the vast number of women’s fragrances has some rose in there somewhere in the recipe.

Rose Blooms With Scent

Surprisingly, many modern rose hybrids do not have much, if any, fragrance. That feature was bred out in the pursuit of larger blooms, longer bloom times, and other features thought desirable for gardens. Perhaps just as surprising is that when a rose has a perfume, it can come in variations, not all of which are “classic rose”. some are citrus, or myrrh, licorice, or spice.

Some of the Most Powerfully Perfumed Roses (as listed by The American Rose Society):

  1. Captain Harry Stebbings
  2. Dublin
  3. Folklore
  4. Fragrant Cloud
  5. Limelight
  6. Miss All-American Beauty
  7. Mr. Lincoln
  8. Royal Highness
  9. Tiffany

I can attest to their choices, and of them all, ‘Fragrant Cloud’ is my own personal favorite on the list.

Fresh Mint Brings Senses Alive

mint

Inhale Peppermint To Get Going.

Peppermint is generally invigorating. “Peppermint scent increases activity in the brain area that wakes us up in the morning”

Mint Mojito Soap – Punch Aches and Pains

A perfect gift to give to the athlete, the runner, or anyone who needs an “ultra minty” wake up call to soothe tired, achy muscles.

Which scent ingredient transports you?

These are some of the very popular ones.

  • Lemon and citrus-
  • Rose-
  • Lavender –
  • Jasmine and Ylang Ylang –
  • Berry –
  • Vanilla-
  • Patchouli-

Incense for Your Senses

Ancient way to create a relaxing atmosphere.

incense

Sometimes a stick of good quality incense made from natural ingredients is just the ticket to ride away from stresses.

Japanese incense is one of the finest with subtle scent. Shoyeido is my favorite brand, with such high quality ingredients that it is never cloying.


Shoyeido’s Kyoto Autumn Leaves Incense, 35 sticks – Kyo-nishiki

There are many ways to surround yourself with pleasant scents. Incense is one very ancient way. Most women also know about the ways to use perfumes, “layering” a scent with various mediums like using lotion, perfume, and powder all in the same scent. Home fragrance oils, adding aromatherapy scents to home fountains, fragranced candles… it seems we have unlimited ingenuity when it comes to introducing a good smell into our environment.

Breathe Deeply

Fragrance delights… to lift your day.

Rose Water


Flower waters can be so refreshing especially on a hot summer day. I love to use them as skin toners, or as a light perfume, when summer heat means many perfumes are too heavy. Rose water is one of my favorites, and the most all-around useful.

Types and uses of rose water:
Since rosewater can lend a subtle flavor to foods, there is a culinary type, but the most popular use for it is as a beauty aid. Bulgarian Rose Water is some of the most famous that is commercially available, and it can be used for a hydrating skin toner straight from the bottle on a cotton ball.

“The different species used for oil production yield different compositions of oils and thus different scents. Moroccan Rose Oil (Rosa centifolia) is rich in Phenylethanol (63%), but contains less Citronellol (10-15%), Geraniol and Nerol (8%). The Bulgarian type (Rosa damascena) is naturally rich in Citronellol (35-55%), Geraniol and Nerol (40%) but only 2% Phenylethanol. Although traditionally Rosa gallica supplied the demand for Rose petals used for medicinal purposes, it is no longer possible to ascertain the exact species of red roses in circulation in the trade today. Rose petals used medicinally should be of a healthy, deep crimson colour and have a strongly aromatic scent.” –about rose water

I recently bought a spray on from the Wild Oats store and that has been an easy way to spritz a little on when the day is hot and I want something cool on my face and neck. Redolent of the beautiful Eastern custom of sprinkling rosewater on the hands and faces of guests.

Physically, rose water applied to the skin is supposed to not only hydrate but be anti-inflammatory. It is used to treat acne and skin irritation, and calm sunburn. Rose petals have tannin, which is an astringent. The 30-petal damask rose (Rosa x Damascena trigintipetala) has been cultivated since ancient times for the precious attar (rose oil) and rose water. Its aromatherapy reputation is that it aids strength and vitality while enhancing harmony and balance.

rose water skin care recipe
make your own floral water
Rose water is used a great deal in the Middle East, used for anything from adding flavor to their cooking to freshening bedroom linens and, of course, in perfumes.

Reviving my senses

Sometimes it seems like everything just works to deflate my mood, to discourage and diminish my energy. It may not be any sort of plot, but it just seems that way. I have found that I am very sensitive to scents, and that is probably why that enters so much into my posts on this blog. Scents can be mood enhancers. No magic involved, it is more that this is the way many of us are wired.

Marcel Proust is probably one of the most famous for remarking on the amazing ability scent has for evoking memories and mood.

An hour is not merely an hour! … It is a vase filled with perfumes, sounds, places and climates! So we hold within us a treasure of impressions, clustered in small knots, each with a flavor of its own, formed from our own experiences, that become certain moments of our past.”

~Marcel Proust

Smell is so closely identified with our ability to taste that we often connect the two, maybe that is why fragrance can give some of the feeling of satisfaction? I don’t know.

Research saysMore Powerful Than Visual Memories:

“These scent-triggered memories feel more “real” and powerful than a memory triggered by, say, a photograph or song. For this phenomenon (often called, in popular lexicon, a “Proustian experience”) to happen, the scent must be something you would smell very rarely, and unique enough not to be associated with other aromas.

But why are these scent-induced memories so powerful? Why do they fill us with such strong nostalgia?

Science is just beginning to unlock the mysterious power of humans’ sense of smell and its links with our memories and emotions. What has been discovered so far is that the area of the brain that processes aromas is the same part that is responsible for emotional behavior and memory.”

So lately I find myself trying to utilize this brain function by consciously including more pleasant scents in my surroundings. From times of yore in my youth I revived the use of incense. Yes, I did! This is ancient in practice, with religious usage recorded in the Bible and many other writings.“Anthropologists speculate that primitive perfumery began with the burning of gums and resins for incense.” ~Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art In fact, in the Bible certain formulations of incense were to be used strictly in conjunction with religious ritual. I think that is because of the deeply evocative power of scent – and our need to not confuse such emotional triggers. But back to my own return to some of these things such as burning incense.

I had found the gizmo for burning stick incense ( I also have a porcelain burner inherited from my Dad- I remember,as a child, him using it filled with sand and the little cones of incense within). So on a whim, while at Whole Foods, I came across a sale on real Japanese incense of different types. It had been so long since I was familiar with any particular types that I just bought one of the samplers of the stick form. WOW! Some really beautiful effects that did make me feel a little more uplifted. I had purchased Shoyeido traditional japanese incense, and so far I think my favorite of the ten sorts is “Fresh Breeze” or Sei-fu. Shoyeido’s site has interesting info and a free offer. O r a book, The Book of Incense: Enjoying the Traditional Art of Japanese Scents might just be the beginning of exploring this mode of fragrancing your home and life. An excerpt:“The fragrance of jinkoh varies depending on the amount of resin in it, the part of the tree the wood comes from (the roots and branches of the same tree can differ greatly in fragrance), and the particular region of Southeast Asia the tree grows or grew in. So, in a sense, one could say there are infinitely many kinds since each piece found in the jungle is unique. This makes the task of classifying incense wood daunting, to say the least. Nevertheless, various characteristics of aromatic incense wood have been analyzed over the years in an attempt to create a working classification.”

Of course, I’ve always liked scented candles and potpourri, as might be presumed by the amount of attention I give aromas in my life! But reports on what I like in those topics are for another day:)
Right now I am trying out another of the sampler’s offerings which is purported to have ‘regeneration’ properties, whatever that is supposed to mean. It does smell nice , but I think regeneration is going a bit far with reputed effect. I did think Sei-fu was “uplifting” as labeled, although I know those are just general guidance as to what to expect from a type of smell formulation. Like any perfume, you just have to try out things for yourself to see what personally appeals to your own sense of a ‘good smell’.

You know, the whole topic would not be complete without remembering that Christ gives a fragrance to ones life that is spiritually discernible to those around us. This is probably the most eternally uplifting of any any scent, by far.