Fragrances are also associated with memories. There are certain fragrances that I’m drawn to during certain periods of my life. For example, for that summer holiday to the seaside I may take with me onefragrance that I wear the entire week away and from then on, that fragrance is permanently connected to my memory of that summer holiday to the seaside. This is why fragrances are so important for our moods. Our mood is also impacted by seasons, sunlight and temperature. Perhaps in the summer we are more playful but, in the winter, we want to hibernate.
Winters in the UK can be long and moody so it’s nice to sometimes lift your mood with a summer fragrance that reminds you of a holiday by the seaside. In one second, you are taken back to that sunny day, with gentle waves lapping on the shore and the memory of how happy you felt.
The idea around slow perfumes and slow fragrances is a concept where you really embrace and learn to enjoy your fragrances, really letting them settle in around you and appreciating the mood they may bring. Scent we know is mood-lifting as I’ve explained and one beautiful boutique fragrance brand that does this so well is Prescent, a boutique perfumery from the beautiful Primrose Hill (London). The storytelling around the fragrances and the brand are so beautiful – you can tell that so much love and passion have gone into creating two summer fragrances – Summer Day 20 and Summer Night 20. The brand also sources all of their ingredients for their fragrances responsibly and ethically.
The whole concept around the Prescent fragrances are to enjoy the ‘present’ and allow you to access your own ‘inner mood’ through fragrances. Scent is the only sense that works directly with the limbic system and the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for creating new memories. Hence, fragrances can really set the tone for us to create a mood in an instant.
The fragrances themselves are exquisite and they revolve around the hero ingredient of vanilla which has been used for centuries as a mood-influencing fragrance. In fact, it was used by the Aztecs as a soothing fragrance to help them feel closer to their Gods when they were worshipping in their temples. They also used it at home to connect with each other and to their partners. Hence when the Spanish settlers arrived, it didn’t take long for them to ship this exotic little plant back to Europe where it became all the rage among affluent men and women.
The Summer Day 20 and the Summer Night 20 of course are totally different scents, although each one centres around vanilla. I’ll start with the Summer Day 20 first which is a unique scent that I would say could appeal to everyone. The vibrant notes of ginger oil from India with a fresh and zingy scent really wake up your senses at the start and certainly grab your attention. As the fragrance dries down on the skin you can pick out more top notes of lemon oil, bergamot oil, lemongrass, cardamom, elemi oil and Timur Pepper oil. I mean when I think about the ingredients, they actually sound good enough to eat.
With further settling onto the skin, the heart notes burst open with a spice – Nutmeg oil, Turkish Rose oil and Vanilla Absolute from Madagascar (the hero). The fragrance goes from zesty and zingy to warm and spicy with the final bottom notes of patchouli, sandalwood and cedarwood, tonka infusion and labdanum absolute.
Some of the questions that Prescent ask when you enjoy a fragrance is where does it take you? How do you feel with it? Where would you like to go with it? With the Summer 2.0 I can see myself somewhere in French Polynesia, maybe Bora Bora with a flower behind my ear and a cold, refreshing drink in one hand, toes in the warm sand and sun warming my skin. It makes me feel free and ignites a sense of wanderlust, perhaps due to the range of ingredients from far-flung destinations.
Again, the idea around slow fragrances means that you can really enjoy this scent and let it settle. I truly believe that this scent would appeal to so many people. You know there are some scents out there that you know aren’t for everyone but this is a scent that I really think is for anyone to enjoy.
Next, we move onto the Summer Night 20 which is meant for the night and all the different moods it may bring with it. Again, this scent hits you with a zesty kick at the start which I love because it catches you by surprise and makes you stand to attention. It’s citrusy with bergamot oil and geranium oil (with fresh mint notes) as well as lavender (always a crowd pleaser). The combination of these fragrances really sets the tone for the sultrier notes to come. I really love this fragrance and it’s so hard to choose between both of the fragrances because I really think that they would be loved by everyone. I don’t always say that about every fragrance I try.
The heart notes of Summer Night 20 have an exotic touch with Jasmine Sambac Olessance from India, Ylang Extra from Madagascar and Patchouli Heart from Indonesia. This is true a beautiful fragrance – it’s sexy, sensual and I love the woody notes at the bottom of amber, sandalwood oil, Guaiawood oil and Tonka Infusion, blended with the hero, Vanilla Absolute.
This fragrance to me feels sexy and empowering. A little bit like you can rule the world. A hit of self-confidence and a splash of charm. I can imagine myself in a dimly-lit bar with this one, sipping a glass of my favourite red and listening to a jazz singer whilst wearing my favourite little black dress.
I really enjoyed testing these fragrances around the concept of slow fragrances and perhaps that’s something that we should do more often. Really appreciate and treasure the things that we have and take joy in things we love the most, rather than just moving onto the next thing so quickly. If there’s one thing that this year has taught us, it’s to slow down and appreciate the little things.