AURA AROMA: match your scent to your mood!

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Choose an aroma to match your personality and your aura! We instinctively choose what fashion colours to wear to make us feel more confident, dynamic, sexy, flirtatious – so why not our perfume too? Now you can choose from a kaleidoscope of colour designed to appeal as much to your senses as the aroma itself.

Here am I waxing lyrical about colour, when truth be known I am sitting down, writing, wearing head-to-toe black, core ‘fashion’ ensemble, a touch funereal perhaps, but I ‘play safe’, black’s easy – let me play with the colour of my perfume instead.
I’m fond of a bit of green and a hint of blue, but keep yellow, pink and red far away from me, please. I’m not brave enough to wear vibrant colours and decorative patterns that boldly draw attention to myself on a daily basis. Indeed, that’s why I prefer autumn and winter: floral prints, lime green and coral red? I think not! A fashionista I am not; a slave to colour, never: my red hair has seen to that over the years, as I tend to clash the moment I step away from my beloved charcoal.

Does that mean the same for our choice of perfume?

Of course not! I mean, yes, I love autumnal notes: the woods and mosses of a damp forest floor, but I can do effervescent! I love citrus, a bit of rosiness; hell, I’ve even been known to succumb to a touch of violet (steady Jo). I mean, I am already immensely colourful in character: just ask me to wear it to suit my mood and the moment, not my outfit. Am I sounding defensive? Should the colour of my perfume really affect my existing mood? Does a blue bottle really make me feel calmer than a rosy pink little number that might have me flirt like crazy?

What exactly would an all black scent smell like anyway?

Well probably mysterious and spicy, but preferably I think mischevious? “I’m wearing my favourite Byredo Black Saffron right now,” says Kassia St Clair, historian and author of The Secret Lives of Colour (now in paperback, £8.99, John Murray) as we chat, “which I think has got the colour all wrong! it’s not the least bit black, more floral yet spicy and challenging.” Ah, yes; inspired by the perfumer’s Indian upbringing in smell, taste and colour, mixing saffron with juniper berries, black violet, raspberry and rose. Mmm … I’m inspired, it suits my daily garb too!

“Colours are so bound up with our culture that when we see them we can’t help but be affected,” says Kassia. “So red does actually make you feel more passionate because the association is already there, but culturally it is also dependant on where and how you grew up and your memories.” Of course, that may evolve over time too, and then, of course, there’s fashion! “There’s a trend now for more subtle yet complex shades, reflecting the mood of the moment; and I love how this has made more space for natural dyes, less mechanisation and more authenticity in the craft.“ It’s the same in artisanal scent, playing with quality oils and raw materials that play as much with your skin as they do your emotions (one good reason I started my JOGB pure natural artisan candle aromas), to reflect a whole deeper side of you through aroma and colour.

A kaleidoscope of the senses – what colour and aroma can do for your mood

Scent and mood are inextricably linked by colour and light. It’s a multi-sensorial, beautiful aspect of life. Light is all around us and has the ability to alter our mood and mental state by stimulating the production of chemicals in the brain and the central nervous system. Many believe our cells emit their own light vibrations too – our chakras and our aura. You need a boost of energy, maybe you’ll buy yourself some cheerful, colourful flowers; magnetic colours like violet have a narcotic, euphoric effect, while blues have a calming sedative effect and violets are said to be deeply meditative (probably because they’re so small you have to focus). If a bouquet of flowers can do it, quicker still pick up a vibrant bottle and immerse yourself in a scent to match your mood of the moment! “The bottle is the first thing that one is attracted to and the first thing you touch,” says Michael Donovan of Rouillier White “and yet another way for the perfumer to communicate the contents.”

 

GREEN

Feel fresh and a touch herbaceous? Or perhaps a little rascally? A little devious, mischievous and potentially green-eyed? From emerald green and absinthe to turquoise, green has historically been the poetic symbol of envy and jealousy. “It was the colour of gowns worn in paradise in the Quran, epitomising luxury and style,” says Kassia. Yet, it’s just like marmite. Marketeers say ‘it doesn’t sell’; you barely ever see the cover of a magazine with a model in green (or redheads for that matter!). It harps back to Shakespearean days when green clothes were considered bad luck on stage; and yet, visually the colour green is luxurious, makes us feel reassured, depicts nature, well-being and the circle of life. So, when you wear a bit of emerald, you kinda have to be in the country: it just isn’t a city thing.

What’s your mood?

Think springtime greens, a freshly mown lawn, aromatic notes of glossy leaves and freshly-cut herbs, think vintage Vent Vert by Balmain or the tomato leaf in Eau de Campagne by Sisley, with familiar kitchen herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, mint and basil. Green embodies a freshness, a natural, wholesome sense of well-being, uplifting your mood in a flash.

 

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Choose an aroma

The green cut glass heart of Aura Mugler by Thierry Mugler, filled with botanical oriental notes of rhubarb leaf and wolfwood, symbolises the ‘colour of life, luck, hope and intuition and the harmony between body, soul and emotions’. Couldn’t put it better myself! Unisex in colour, the beautiful Trudon Revolution, created by British perfumer Lyn Harris, is my favourite out of this fab quintet of fragrances that are aimed at men but work beautifully on women who love woods too. Or why not veer towards a turquoise green cologne, such as the classic Hermes Eau d’Orange Verte,£47, based on the 70s fresh original.

 

BLUE

Blue, on the other hand, symbolizes trust, honesty and peace, deemed divine in religion by depicting Mary in her delicate, ultramarine gown: the actual colour that inspired Kassia to write her book. It’s THE colour of summer, the ocean, the sky on a perfect day, you can smell it in the air. Blue lifts our mood, makes us feel happy and studies have shown the colour also depicts trust, calm and relaxation. Indeed as the most harmonious colour in the spectrum, blue light comes up with the dawn, helping to instinctively balance our body by setting our circadian rhythm up for the day (just turn the smartphone blue light off once in a while, OK?).

What’s your mood?

Take a deep breath, a smile, notes of water and sea, like a holiday in one sniff, a familiar destination or that favourite much-loved pair of jeans. “If ultramarine were a perfume incarnation, I think it would be a rarity,” says Kassia “quite exotic and spicy with a sea-salty tang due to its history in travelling from the East to the West.” Well, it’s yet to be made but I say watch this space!

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Choose an aroma

A soul scent for sure, think Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi Acqua, £99, with citrus fruits designed as a vision of the calm idyll of the Amalfi cliffsides, and dare I say loved almost unequivocally by almost anyone who smells it. Wait till sundown and enjoy the huskier, unisex citrus notes mixed with coconut and vetiver in Miu Miu or Moonlight In Heaven by Kilian, £195. Or who can resist the turquoise temptation of iris hidden inside Tiffany & Co, £52?

 

PURPLE

Purple is power, the colour of royalty, luxury and imperial glamour. Loved by the Impressionists, the theory being that “shadows are never black or grey but a culmination of shades of colour,” writes Kassia “and since the complementary colour to the yellow of sunlight was violet, it made sense that this would be the colour for the shade.” Kinda makes it more mysterious too, doesn’t it?

What’s your mood?

Bold, proud, sensual and elegant? Then think notes of violet, heliotrope and iris to give a fresh floral yet powdery hue that’s womanly and vibrant. But in the shadow, you can find the warmth and comfort of gourmand notes that are immensely popular today such as vanilla and caramel.

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Choose an aroma

Sweeter by far is Terry de Gunzburg Delectation Splendide, £175, candy sweet yet exotic and mildly addictive mixes praline, aniseed, vanilla and patchouli; Carthusia Gelsomini di Capri, contains an intoxicating mix of Moroccan orange blossom, Texan cedar and Madagascan vanilla; or love the violet accord in Maison Francis Kurkkdjian Oud Satin Mood, £195, mixed with vanilla and amber.

 

RED

The colour of champions, of sex (red lipstick), the devil, supreme power and THE colour of last season at Givenchy, Fendi and Tod’s, red’s influence on our psyche has historically had royalty the world over ordain themselves in this most vibrant vision of success. From scarlet (Marilyn Monroe’s lips), to crimson and maroon, red symbolises love, romance, remembrance and honour.

What’s your mood?

So when you adorn that red hot jacket or lipstick for that important meeting, this is why you feel sophisticated, empowered, ‘don’t mess with me’ and professional. Likewise, your fragrance is often a seductively bold choice usually backed up by headstrong flowers such as jasmine, gardenia and ylang-ylang.

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Choose an aroma

Just love the red fruits and musk in Ramon Monegal Flamenco, £180 for 50ml exclusively at Harrods, that reflect the perfumer’s passion for the colour and light of the Andaluz culture in southern Spain; More saucy Robert Piguet Nuit Velours, £00 exclusively at Selfridges, edible notes of cream and vanilla, violet and rose make this the red velvet cupcake of perfumery, temptingly sweet; or think Bottega Veneta Eau de Velours, £56, a plumy, rosy floral chypre.

 

PINK

Ahh, the most feminine of colours, pick up a fuchsia bottle, you just know it’s going to be a pretty girly bouquet of flowers designed to appeal to your younger side. I mean it’s not womanly, is it? Funny to think then that it’s only since the 20th century that pink has been anything other than masculine. “The strict girl-pink boy-blue divide only dates from the mid 20th century,” says Kassia. “Pink is after all just ‘faded red,” the more decided and stronger colour, while blue was more delicate and dainty. “In the era of scarlet-jacketed soldiers and red-robed cardinals, it was the more masculine colour, while blue was the signature of the Virgin Mary.” My husband wears his pink shirt with even more pride now.

What’s your mood?

A self-evident category of floral notes flowers can present surprising sides which never cease to fascinate, such as the lemon in magnolia, the caramel in lavender and the ruby wine in a rose. Natural flower extracts also work with our psyche in aromatherapy, providing a confidence boost to our seductive feminity.

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Choose an aroma

They’re all about love really aren’t they? There’s a livelier, some say ‘sexier’ version of Miss Dior Eau de Parfum, £52, inspired by the slogan “And you, what would you do for love?”, mixing red grapefruit, with rose, jasmine, patchouli and rosewood; also Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Bloom, £45, is just a brighter, maybe more virginal version of the original with the classic heart of damask rose, freesia and jasmine, wrapped up in an accord of pure ‘liquid air’; or Jimmy Choo Rose, £47, soft, easy and youthful.

 

ORANGE

The colour of gold, sunshine, joy and desire, orange is epitomised in a culture not only by a joie de vivre and zest for life but by the taste and hence smell of luxurious spices – think ginger, turmeric, saffron. These are the soul of many a seductive scent that encapsulates an image of warmth, vibrancy and energy that adds to the way you walk, talk, feel and make those around you feel too.

What’s your mood?

It’s captivating. Be a bit spicier choosing those with nature’s most edible dyes, or dig deeper and look for sensual orangey amber, a resin from conifers that have become fossilised over centuries and is still a firm favourite in semi-precious jewellery.

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Choose an aroma

First up has to be the rarity Jusbox 14Hour Dream, £140, an erotic amber-based oriental that pays homage to the wild 14 Hour Technicolor Dream event in London in ’67, where 40 rock bands performed in front of a psychedelic generation. Equally, I love the velvet promise of patchouli-based Bottega Veneta Eau de Velours, £56 for 30ml EDP, since brown is fashion’s new black, with tempting leather, bergamot and rose in one.

 

LEMON

Historically yellow was a sign of impropriety until the end of the 19th century when once again artists stepped in (especially in Europe) to embrace this sunniest shade of life and determine how everything pleasant in life is actually yellow, bar of course illness, jaundice or fever. In India, it is the symbol of peace, knowledge and divine enlightenment, while in perfumery the entire citrus family in the spectrum is defined by hesperidic fruits named after the Hesperides, nymphs from Greek mythology. Citrus notes tickle our senses and bring clarity and freshness, help clear the mind and make you feel bright and optimistic.

What’s your mood?

I love hesperidic notes, from lemon verbena, petitgrain and lemongrass to bergamot (they’re in JOGB GOJO too), the integral part of any eau de cologne, a mainstay in my own fragrance repertoire, with pomelo, yuzu and grapefruit, as modern citrus chums thanks to new developments in perfume extraction; but I vow, even still, I never wear yellow!

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Choose an aroma

The clean and crisp bergamot, Sicilian lemon, white thyme, lavender and neroli in Maison Francis Kurkjian Absolue Pour Matin, £115, are just the easiest wake up call; or Carolina Herrera Confidential Gold Incense, £00, is aimed at women and men alike, and features all the citruses, bergamot and lime harmonised by labdanum, cedar and vanilla. I defy you not to love the classic Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet, £72, that I sprayed on a train the other day and every one of my colleagues said ‘ooh what’s that!” It’s my hint at yellow … sunshine in a bottle.

What’s your mood? What’s your aura? Maybe we’re all just a perfect culmination of colour: totally emotional beings driven by instinct, passion and pleasure of the senses.

 

 

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