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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Magazine > August 2019 > The modern perfumer’s natural palette

The modern perfumer’s natural palette

Inspired by vegan skincare and ‘clean’ cosmetics, perfume makers are embracing plant-based blends with mood-boosting benefits

Imagine yourself on a warm summer evening, enjoying dinner with a group of friends. You’re outside in a leafy courtyard, spirits are high, the table groans with delicious food and, perhaps most ittingly, you’re wearing your favourite perfume, the one you associate with life-airming moments like these. Now imagine the exact same scenario, except without any discernible aroma. Diicult, isn’t it? That’s because our sense of smell is so inextricably linked to the formation of memories, it’s almost impossible to separate the two.


‘Our sense of smell is the least known of all our senses,’ says independent perfumer and renowned ‘nose’ Aliénor Massenet. ‘I think, most of the time, people don’t even notice they’re using this sense to recall a memory.’ Formed early on in childhood, memories imprinted with a speciic scent proile can be far more evocative than those triggered by any of our other senses. It’s all linked to what Massenet refers to as our ‘cognitive memory’ – subconscious recollections inluenced by the emotional state we were in when we experienced a scent for the irst time. ‘Built on private and shared experiences, it explains why we’re drawn to diferent tastes and smells, and is unique for every individual.’ In fact, scents can become so deeply embedded in our psyche that neuroscience even has a word, transduction, to describe the way familiar smells can trigger olfactory responses in our brain to elicit certain feelings. And while any scent – from freshly laundered sheets to the oily forecourt of a petrol station – can conjure vivid memories, it’s natural notes derived purely from plant material, as opposed to synthetics created in a lab, that are currently stealing the olfactory limelight.

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About Healthy Magazine

Introducing the brand new healthy! We’ve got a fresh new look and have spruced up our content, including challenging new franchises, a dedicated vegan section and inspiring real life stories. Our central theme this issue is mental wellbeing – a challenge that doesn’t seem to be getting any easier, even as we are getting better at talking about it. Hopefully our ‘safe space’ is just that – somewhere you can explore and develop your own mental health. We’ve also investigated the gender disparity in football, explored the growing (though illegal) trend of microdosing, and chatted to chef turned wellness advocate Lorraine Pascale about her own mental wellbeing journey. Plus, we’ve brought in an expert panel to review all our content, ensuring you’re getting the very best and latest health, fitness, food, beauty and wellness advice. Find all this and more in the new issue of healthy