Monday, November 05, 2007

Perfume for the Occasion: In Times Of Stress

We all have those weeks or days when we feel like we are on a treadmill and cannot get off. Little down time, lots of pressure to perform, a plethora of noise and traffic, demands from children or family and perhaps a bit of conflict thrown into the mix make for very stressful days when a hot bubble bath or a massage seem like the only solution. Even so, making time for the latter can prove challenging. I have been craving a massage for the last week but it has slipped off my priority list every day. Sleep supercedes it! Wouldn't it be grand if we could add a few scents to our collection that would immediately transport us to a different place, erase stress or anxiety and generally make life more bearable? Our thoughts exactly. When Divina of Fragrance Bouquet suggested this topic in the middle of stressful weeks for both of us, I grabbed onto it like an infant clasps an unknown finger. Research has proven that stress reduction can extend your life. Reason enough for me to add a few scents to my collection that will calm and soothe!

Before I describe my top scents for times of stress, I will define what makes these scents stress relievers. Typically, gourmand scents heavy on vanilla comfort and soothe with their warm sweetness, so I have chosen a few in this category. In addition, lavender has long been touted as stress relieving so my list would not be complete without a stellar lavender scent. Every perfumista should have at least one scent to call her own comfort scent, one that may not be obviously comforting but to her is akin to an instant hug. So, one choice is my personal favorite. Additionally, citrus scents have incredible uplifting qualities! With a myriad of citrus scents available, I added my personal favorites that lighten the spirit and in so doing soothe the soul. Finally, no stress relieving list would be complete without a scent reminiscent of the spa. My final choices are meant to evoke the comforting scent of a relaxing day at the spa filled with pampering and rest. Without further ado, here is my list:

  • Etro Heliotrope- From my review which is linked to the left, this scent reminds me of my grandmother's ambrosial kitchen. With its creative blend of orange blossom and vanilla meant to evoke the scent of sunflowers, this scent is not only comforting to me but also to many others.

  • Lea St. Barth - Beautiful, comforting vanilla fragrance with a touch of almond and cream. A warm and cozy scent that is a favorite of many Hollywood celebrities and this non-Hollywood girl.

  • Ava Luxe Milk - When I cannot sleep, I heat up some milk to calm down my mind and lull myself to slumberland. This fragrance is the closest thing to a warm glass of milk I could find. It doesn't sour or overwhelm with sweetness. It simply embraces with light, sweet comfort.

  • Andy Tauer Reverie Au Jardin - Prior to Andy Tauer's creation, which was described by a few as a fresh take on lavender, I abhored the idea of a lavender fragrance. With the abundance of lavender scented toiletries, drawer liners, pillow mists and such on the market, why would I want to remind myself or anyone else of the gazillion-jillion lavender potboilers? Well my friends, there is lavender to make a buck and then ... there is this ... stunning fragrance. At first sniff, my impression was a very beautiful, soft floral and herbal fragrance. What a difference natural ingredients make! This fragrance is perfect for any stressful occasion and just gorgeous for any day.

  • Chanel Bois Des Iles- My personal comfort scent. The top of ylang-ylang and heart that smells faintly of gingerbread with almond is my idyllic soothing fragrance.

  • Annick Goutal Les Nuits d'Hadrien - A wonderful citrus scent that appropriately reminds me of a day at the spa. With cypress, spices and citrus, it uplifts and calms the mind.

  • i Profumi di Firenze Limone di Sicilia - A happy and uplifting scent, this fragrance pays homage to the incredible lemons of Sicily. Wear it for an easy smile and a more positive attitude.

  • Borghese Profumo di Montecatini Natural Spa Perfume - Meant to evoke the scents and emotions of a day at the spa, this indulgent scent combines warm florals with woods, botanicals and stimulating minerals, including an intriguing elemi oil accord. A scented body spray to be applied with abandon, this fragrance also provides excellent hydration to the skin.

  • Clarins Eau Tranquility - Another light fragrance to evoke images of spa days. Any fragrance that is strong would not be spa-worthy! Eau Tranquility is delicately scented with basil, iris, cedar and benzoin and has wonderful calming and relaxing qualities.

  • While all of these fragrances can calm and/or lift your mood, the healthcare worker in me must emphasize the damaging effects stress can have on your health. During stressful periods, take time to stretch and relax, even if it is only for five minutes. I love having a hot cup of Aveda Comfort Tea at the end of a stressful day while playing some calming music. Making time for exercise can also decrease your stress dramatically. Put it all together and you will have a happier, healthier outlook. Enjoy!


    IrisLA said...

    My favorite winter comfort scent is Laura Tonatto Plaisir. It's like a cozy sweater, and I usually reserve it for evening wear at home.

    From your list, I adore Bois des Iles. I love it for the same reason -- the warm gingerbread note without being gourmand.

    ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

    Plaisir is indeed lovely! Very similar to Lea St. Barth Extreme. Nice to see you Iris! Have a great day.

    rosarita said...

    There have been lots of stressful days lately, don't you think? Yeesh. Incense scents are soothing to me. CdG Kyoto is calm and uplifting all year long, while Parfum Sacre is perfect for cooler weather. My favorite this time of year is Shalimar, both incense and lovely vanilla. Spearmint tea, very soft and comfy sweats, music or pleasantly diverting movies - all good. Thanks to both for these great posts!

    ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

    Yes, I think so Anita! Lovely to hear about your incense favorites. You are quite welcome and I hope you have a relaxing evening!

    Divina said...

    Goodmorning my dearest :) I had a hectic day yesterday (how ironic, on a day that was supposed to be all about anti-stress) so I did not manage to comment early enough. I wanted to say I loved your post and your take on it. You make me curious about the Natural Spa Perfume - sounds like a perfect perfume-non-perfume sort of scent that would fit a lot of occasions! When I was writing about Lavender I knew Andy's must be the perfect one, I have read so much praise about it, but I have not smelled it myself yet. So good you found a good lavender scent that you like!
    *big big hugs*

    ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

    Goodmorning Lovely! I had a hectic day yesterday as well. Hehe. Thank you for your compliments. The natural spa perfume is indeed luxurious and not too hard to find. I wish I had more than my little sample of Andy Tauer's lavender scent to send you! I'm headed over to re-read your creative entry now.

    *big hugs right back*

    Perfumeshrine said...

    T, what a lovely list you compiled!
    Of course Bois des iles is an amazing scent and very soothing in its elegant way...I am overjoyed that you liked lavender through Tauer's take on it because that is exactly what happened to me too! He made a soothing, casual, smooth, cosy lavender: no mean feat.
    I suggest you sample Kiki by Vero next! ~reviewed it on the blog: a sexy lavender! ;-)

    Anonymous said...

    I am with you on the Bois des Iles but would also consider No 22 or Coromondel. Lavendar doesn't do it for me in times of stress - with stress I want comfort and something richly addicting!

    tmp00 said...

    Tauer's lavender is of course on my list. I also like for different reasons SL Gris Clair, the chill of it can help on a hectic day.

    If I know it's going to be a stressful day (I have one week a month where all of my duties are compressed into a two-day time frame) I choose to wear l'antimatiere by lesnez. It's a cozy bankie of a scent; I can slyly pull my collar out and go to my happy place.

    I can't use it at work, but at the end of a bad day MKK is like a lovers warm embrace.

    ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...


    So glad you agree on the Bois des Iles! I know the feeling of needing warmth and richness during times of stress. I am the same way. As a child, nothing compared to a warm chocolate chip cookie when I was upset. There must be a link in my psyche, for I remember the smell of the batter as my grandmother added vanilla to it. ;-)

    No. 22 is a great and sparkling choice. And Coromondel is on my list of Fall favorites - actually my number 1!

    ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...


    Oh, Gris Clair!! Such a favorite of my husband's and I loooove the smell of it, especially on him. Giggling at pulling your collar out and going to your happy place. I love the image! MKK sometimes works for me, and I agree that it conjures images of a lover's embrace. I will have to look into your favorite for stressful days!

    ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...


    Why thank you my friend! I will head to your blog right away to see what you have to say about the sexy lavender scent. I didn't think lavender could be sexy. I'm intrigued. ;-)

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