Perfume can take you on a scent journey, stirring up emotions from your fondest memories. Want to relive a favorite moment? Fragrance helps you strike just the right note.
By Nicole Cantonese
Sniff your way to...
Remember that rush you had after finishing a 5K? Savor it all over again.
KEY NOTES Grapefruit, lemon, lime, mandarin, mint and orangeFRAGRANCE FINDINGS People had a 30 percent uptick in alertness after inhaling the smell of peppermint, a study at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia finds. The scent stimulates the brain's reticular activating system, which is responsible for waking us up. Some citrus fruit can give you zest, too. "Oranges make us think of breakfast, a time associated with a fresh start and an optimistic attitude," says Rachel Herz, Ph.D., author of The Scent of Desire (Perennial).
Try: Michael Kors Very Hollywood Eau de Parfum, $65; Estée Lauder Sensuous Sheer Body Oil Spray, $42; Elizabeth Arden Pretty Eau de Parfum, $62; Givenchy Very Irrésistible Eau de Toilette, $62Sniff your way to...
Napping in a hammock with your honey…one spritz can take you there.
KEY NOTES Apple, cucumber, tea, lush greens and powdery aromasFRAGRANCE FINDINGS Baby powder-infused scents may be the grown-up version of a security blanket. The smell of the nursery staple makes people feel secure, the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago reveals. "It's an aroma often linked to being nurtured," says study researcher Alan Hirsch, M.D., who also found that both apple and cucumber scents can lower anxiety. "Many people associate fresh fragrances with being in a positive mood," Dr. Hirsch says. "So when you sniff them, stressful situations might not bother you as much as they would before."
Try: Estée Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss Parfum Spray, $325; Versace Versense Eau de Toilette, $65; Issey Miyake A Scent by Issey Miyake Eau de Toilette, $89; Tom Ford White Suede Eau de Parfum, $180; Dior Escale à Pondichéry Eau de Toilette, $65
You rocked the interview, landed the job-can you say "on fire"?
KEY NOTES Amber, incense, musk, sandalwood and vanilla
FRAGRANCE FINDINGS Show off your moxie by mesmerizing those around you. The scent everyone has a sweet spot for? Vanilla. "Most people are naturally attracted to it, probably because it's a flavor of cakes and ice cream-instant reminders of home and hearth, as well as fun, happy times such as parties," says Terry Molnar, executive director of the Sense of Smell Institute in New York City. Not to mention that perfumes heavy on the aforementioned ingredients are designed to linger on skin, unleashing an unspoken message of "I am woman, hear me roar!"
Try: Mark Sophistique Eau de Toilette, $24; Calvin Klein Euphoria Eau de Toilette, $55; Chanel Nº5 Parfum, $260; Prada L'Eau Ambrée Eau de Parfum, $117Sniff your way to...
Recapture the elation of your first kiss.
KEY NOTES Freesia, gardenia, patchouli, peony, rose and tuberose
FRAGRANCE FINDINGS Another reason to stop and smell the roses: A week after receiving a floral arrangement, women felt a bump up in feelings of compassion and kindness as well as a dip in sadness and anxiety compared with those who received a scented candle, a study from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston shows. This response may be due to our innate attraction to nature as well as to the connection we make between flowers and love, says study researcher Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. Achieve similar heart-lifting benefits by treating yourself to a floral perfume.
Try: Ralph Lauren Romance Always Yours Elixir de Parfum, $62; Queen Latifah Queen Eau de Parfum, $59; Nanette Lepore Nanette Eau de Parfum, $68; Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne Eau de Parfum, $65; Avon In Bloom By Reese Witherspoon Eau de Parfum, $34; Faith Hill Parfums Eau de Toilette, $24