Monday, January 16, 2012

Joy in January

The Natural Perfumers Guild is hosting a blogathon esp. for the porr suffering people of the northern hemisphere who are currently dealing with the long, cold and grey miserable months of winter. Aprt from being cold and grey, the long nights and lack of decent sun and daylight also mean long months of misery and depression for many people.  S.A. D or "Seasonal Affective Disorder" is the technical term for these winter blues, and affects most people to some degree or another. It is thought to be related to serontonin production, a neurotransmitter which our body produces in conjunction with exposure to sunlight. So obviously, no sun, no serontonin equals SAD. So the Natural Perfumers guild thought it might be a nice idea to tap into the collective knowledge of their perfumers on how this can be combatted with the help of perfume. And this is my post on the subject. We all know that nice smells make us feel batter, but Aromatherapy can help us take this concept a few steps further...and those of use who work exclusively with naturals of course work with the essential oils used in Aromatherapy...and many of us (including yours truly) actually come from an Aromatherapy background......
One of the very first perfumes I ever made was based on an essential oil blend I used to use in Germany to stop myself from wanting to slit my wrists during the long dark miserable winters.
I used to suffer terribly from what they now call "SAD" or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the winters in Berlin were particularly long and grey.
Each year, as soon as the days became shorter, my mood would start to darken too, and I would only begin to pick up as the days lengthened and the sun came back out of her hiding place below the equator.
When I discovered aromatherapy, I of course started to research which esential oils were good for depression, and discovered that Patchouli was one the the best and longest used for this in India. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat everything from melancholy to outright mania, and it's deep, earthy scent seems to have the immediate effect of making you feel safe and grounded...
So I started burning it in my little oil burner and to my joy found that I felt much more peaceful and even started to smile again....I experimented all that first aromatic winter with blends of different things, and found my best blend was a simple combination of patchouli with bright clear lemon!
Some years later when I started to make actual perfumes, I took a break from the complex floral formulas I was experiementing with, and started to think: Why shouldn't it be possible to combine Aromatherapy with Perfumery and create Perfumes that actually have therapeutic effects as well as smelling beautiful?
I dug out my notes on my favourite aromatherapy blends and rememberd how happy the patchouli and lemon mix had made me....the combination of the two is somehow so warm and friendlyas a scent, the lemon doing something really remarkable to patchoulis dark duskiness and the patchouli giving the short lived lemon a depth and warmth that is just yummy....but they didn't quite work together as an actual "perfume", so I decided to experieiment a bit more. After delving back into my herb books, I decided that an obvious choice would be Sandalwood, beloved the world over for it's soothing comforting effects, as well as one of the smoothest and most beautiful of all perfumery ingredients! Like Patchouli, it has a long history of being used in traditional Auyuveda for treating depression. It also happens to work seamlessly with both patchouli and lemon, and added an elegance and gentleness to the perfume which was just what was needed! I also added a touch of Tahitian lime to give it an extra twist and a few other ingredients to round off the scent, and "Happiness" was born.
I started taking it with me to the various trade fairs and cosmetics shows had stalls at, and was delighted to find that my customers liked it just as much as I did! It seemed to have an incredible unisex appeal, men and women both liked it and wore it, and you could see from the happy grin after the first sniff just how direct an effect it had on peoples moods!
People bought it, and came back and bought more, telling me they found it to be a great pick me up scent...they wore it to help them get going in the morning, as a pick me up after work, and one guy even told me it was the best cure for a hangover he had ever found, grin!
After nearly 20 years, it is still one of my most popular perfumes. It's simple yet elegant scent is refreshing, uplifting and just incredibly friendly! It's a true inisex scent, and one of those you can wear to the office without ever worrying about offending anyone...
But best of all, it simply works. Wearing it makes you feel better.

And what I am particularly proud of is that for me, "Happiness" proved once and for all what I have been saying for years: You CAN combine Aromatherapy and modern Perfumery. And create Perfumes that have a therapeutic effect, and are also GREAT perfumes!

If you'd like to try "Happiness", I'm giving away samples to the 3 most interesting or enthusiastic Australian and 2 Overseas customers who post a comment here!
(Winners will be chosen and announced on friday!)

Otherwise you can also order samples and full size bottles of "Happiness" directly from my webstore!

 Or post a comment below to win a sample!

Other Blogs writing about Joy in January: