Our sense of smell is crucial to survival – so wearing the right perfume could be more important than you think
Earlier this year I was asked to give a lecture to a group of fashion journalism students at Condé Nast College – an event that was swiftly moved online thanks to the pandemic. It goes without saying that giving a lecture to a group of students looking back at you from a Zoom grid is no less intimidating than doing it in real life, so as I got ready for the event, I did all the things I could to pump up my confidence: I slipped on my favourite denim shirt, I slicked back my increasingly shaggy lockdown hair and, finally, I sprayed on one of my all-time favourite scents – Hermès Eau de Néroli Doré, a zingy, energizing citrus number with a grown-up saffron afterglow.
Of course, there was a bit of muscle memory here from a grooming routine pre-pandemic. I have always worn fragrance before going out to meet people, especially those I want to feel my most confident and professional around. But spraying it on for a virtual meeting when no-one else was there, confirmed something: all along I’ve been wearing scent for me, not for them. As lockdown progressed, fragrance became more important to me. Trapped indoors, scent offered not only an escape for my brain, but an organisational project that was long overdue – I had to build a “fragrance wardrobe”.
Why finding your favourite fragrance will make you feel better