Smells that ring bells: why do scents bring back memories?

22nd October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos 

Whenever I pass a man on the street who is wearing the 90s classic, CK Obsession aftershave, my mind flashes back to my very first boyfriend. A whiff of freshly baked doughnuts and I am instantly transported to my grandma’s flat, where we used to eat warm, rose jam doughnuts on Sundays. Everyone has certain scents that take them back in time, proving there’s a strong connection between smells, emotions, and memories.

For some reason, smells can trigger memories faster than words, pictures or even sounds. Dr Becky Spelman, a psychologist at Private Therapy Clinic says, “as babies, we come into this world with blurry vision, poor coordination, and an inability to interpret the sounds we hear around us. We are guided to our mother’s breast through the sense of smell, which is perhaps the most fundamental of all our senses. As we grow and develop we learn how to speak, listen and gain an understanding of the world through touch, sight, and hearing. Our sense of smell seems to become less important, and yet, smell more than anything can evoke a memory and a strong emotional response as it’s linked to our instincts and the days when we relied on our mothers for everything”.

According to scientists, smells go into the emotional and memory part of the brain, whilst words go into thinking part. This could explain why memories brought back by smells feel nostalgic rather than specific and detailed.

Dr Spelman adds, “our memories tend to hook highly emotional moments onto smells which can trigger all of those feelings whenever they are encountered. These strong experiences will meld with their associated scents, and every time you encounter those scents, you will be assailed with memories”.

What smells trigger memories the most?

So how can we trigger the greatest memories from the past? Is there just one unique fragrance or smell?  Nick Gilbert, fragrance expert at Olfiction says, “every single person is different, with their own scent associations based on their own experiences and memories. So it’s not that any particular notes tend to be more impactful to the majority of us”.

However, there are smells that most of us will associate with our happy childhood. Erica Moore, fragrance evaluator at Fragrances Of The World explains, “certainly, we can generalise that the smell of vanilla, for example, which is most commonly associated with baking, cooking and sweet food such as chocolate will provide positive scent memories.  Cut grass, coffee, fairy floss (or sugar) and wood-smoke are also notes that rate highly as preferred scents.  Perfumers and marketers often weave these notes into fragrances to appeal to happy childhood”.

Lots of us have strong relationships with older, classic fragrances just because our parents or grandparents wore them. “Children from the 60’s may recall their parents smelling like patchouli, 70s children may have a similar experience with fragrances such as Charlie and 80s children will no doubt smell Opium or Lou Lou from the next suburb”, says Moore.

There is no doubt, smell associations are really powerful. “When I used to sell perfume, a lady came into the store and sprayed Youth Dew onto a card and almost instantly burst into tears. I just gave her a big hug and let her cry, and eventually, she told me her mother used to wear it and she had died a few weeks ago” says Nick.

Memory-triggering perfumes

 

39Jo Malone, Blackberry and Bay Cologne – £44

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Chanel Cristalle EDP – £57 

41Guerlain Herba Fresca EDT – £39.49

42YSL Black Coffee Opium EDP – £50 

43LA Fumee, Miller Harris EDP – £105 

 

Gabs

 

 

 

Glow baby glow! The best foundations for autumn.

12th October 2017 / Gabriela Czwarnos

As an ex-makeup artist and absolute beauty geek from my early teenage years, I dread to think how many bottles of foundation I have actually tried in my life. I also happen to be the ‘lucky’ owner of oily and acne-prone skin, which means I’ve spent years caking on layers of powdery formulas thinking that’s the key to great looking skin.

Now, being in my 30s, all I want from my foundation is a natural glow, that ‘no make-up’, ‘I woke up like this’ look. I haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, but I’ll know a good one when I get my hands on it! (just to be clear, I am still talking about make-up, not men… ahem). Let the search begin… (again, still talking about foundations here, ahem)

So, to save you time and money, I’ve put together the top foundations available out there to get you that radiant skin (and I want them all!). You’re welcome…

Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Compact SPF 35 – available here

What does Bobbi Brown say?

The weightless, soft-focus liquid foundation delivers an instant glow. What’s the secret? It’s the capsule technology and airtight packaging that helps preserve the formula’s freshness and longevity.

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Packed with skin-boosting ingredients like Pink Silk Tree Extract and Caffeine, the multitasking formula also rejuvenates and re-energizes skin, while helping to protect it with a moisture-infused anti-pollution barrier and high-level SPF.

Why do I love it?

Cushion compacts are game-changing for many reasons. This one is not only very convenient to use ‘on the go’ but also its liquid formula gives you a very natural finish. Bonus: it doesn’t settle into fine lines.

Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Aqua Nude – available here

What does Guerlain say?

This new Lingerie de Peau foundation is using the Aqua Plump technology. It acts on the water channels in the cells, distributing water evenly over the entire surface and at the heart of the epidermis to boost hydration. A long-wear polymer adjusts to the curves of the face to lastingly protect makeup from sweat, sebum and water.

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Perfect for moisturising, this new foundation has less weight and gives you that fabulous “no make-up, make-up” look.

Why do I love it?

Guerlain products are what we call ‘high tech beauty’. You can always be sure all ingredients have been tested and won’t do any harm to your skin. With this foundation, your skin will actually feel hydrated and plumped.

Laura Mercier Flawless Fusion Ultra-Longwear Foundation – available here

What does Laura Mercier say?

This is Laura’s longest wearing foundation of flawless full coverage and 15 hours of wear fused into one weightless mesh formula. High-performance wear that’s sweat, humidity, water and transfer resistant. Colour stays true all day and won’t oxidise. Instant oil control, immediately and throughout the day. Matte finish that is never dull, flat or cakey.

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Why do I love it?

We’ve never thought you can have your cake and eat it: natural glow AND a matte finish. Thanks to Laura’s new baby you won’t have to top up with a powder to take the shine away. No idea how they did it but we are loving the look!

Too Faced Born This Way – available here

Born This Way is an oil-free foundation that diffuses the line between makeup and skin. For coverage so undetectable, you can’t see the makeup and you can’t see imperfections— all that’s left is naturally radiant skin. It’s infused with a potent combination of Coconut Water to naturally replenish moisture levels; nature’s resilient Alpine Rose to brighten the skin’s appearance and promote elasticity and Hyaluronic Acid for a smoother, more youthful appearance.

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Why do I love it?

Massive brownie points for ingredients – both Hyaluronic Acid and Coconut Water can help with hydration. It blends in easily and one layer is enough to cover your imperfections. Impressive!

Oxygenetix – available here

This high-end foundation is the most breathable foundation on the market, with a combined 160 years of expertise behind its revolutionary formula. It has real skin care benefits, provides flawless coverage and delivers an unparalleled, oxygen-enriched formula that allows the skin to breathe more than any other foundation brand.

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The prime ingredient in the product is pro-healing, patent-pending CeravitaeTM a super-charged oxygen complex that promotes collagen cell production and connective tissue growth to promote youthful and smooth skin. It is also natural Aloe Barbadensis gel based (not water-based like most foundations, that often attract bacteria to the skin), which provides anti-bacterial qualities, while astringently removing dead surface cells.

It contains skin-loving ingredients Vitamin E, Grape Seed Extract, Green Tea, Hyaluronic Acid, Salix Alba Extract (avonoids) and Glycerin to soothe, heal and replenish moisture loss.

Why do I love it?

Water resistant, smudge-proof and so good for the skin that sleeping in it will not aggravate it. Next time you ‘forget’ (read: pass out) to take your make up off after a night out, you won’t have to feel guilty anymore!

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup – available here

With a demi-matte finish and light-diffusing spheres to help blur imperfections and wrinkles and look like you’ve been professionally retouched, this buildable formula perfectly complements your complexion and provides medium to full coverage with a flawless finish.

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Urban Decay loaded this oil- and paraben-free formula with nourishing ingredients: anti-wrinkle peptides, Litchiderm™ (derived from lychee fruit) to protect skin from dehydration, stress and aging, Sodium hyaluronate that holds and attracts water for smoother, softer, more youthful-looking skin and Japanese green tea and vitamin E to fight free radicals and promote collagen production.

Why do I love it?

It’s easily buildable so you can go from a very light to full coverage, without looking like you’re wearing a mask. It also comes in 24 shades, so no more tanned face/white neck situ!

 

Gabs