A couple of weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Luana from By.Luis to create my very own bespoke fragrance. I had always wondered about the science behind scent and the complexities of why certain fragrances evoke memories or emotions and Luana answered all of my questions over the course of our little session.
Luana came into my studio with all of her oils and ingredients; it’s quite amazing how mobile she is. It all started with a chat about which scent and fragrances I like, we spoke about various odours from flowers, plants, cooking, and even places, this helps build a foundation to start from. I then sniffed around 30 different base notes jasmine, cedarwood, and patchouli to name a few. These scents make up the foundation of the fragrance. Based on the fragrances I liked, Luana then presented me with around 20 of the 60 or so middle notes available which help, I decided on smoky and leather oils, such as black pepper, neroli, sage and may-chang. These make up the body of the fragrance and help it last longer by creating complex odours, which develop when they interact with our skin and the air. Lastly, I smelled the final 20 top notes to finish off the fragrance, the top note is the first thing you smell when you wear a fragrance, so they tend to be lighter and sweater, I went for grapefruit, sage, and bergamot.
Luana then calculated the ratio of each oil and we began to build the fragrance. Measuring each drop carefully and mixing the essential oils with ethanol, we created a unique fragrance in around 2 hours. It’s amazing how familiar the scent felt even though it was something completely new to me.
But its probably best you hear it from the expert herself…..
Ever wondered why your memory is triggered when you smell something from your childhood? It could be an ex-lover, roasted coffee, your grandmother’s cooking or the smell of the ocean as a child.
When I was 15 years old I developed a strong scent association with a powerful woman who ended up being like a mother to me. Over the years her scent imprinted an emotional state into me that I tapped into every time I smelt her perfume. She gave me a bottle and to this day I wear it every time I need to cultivate a bit of boss babe power and rock an important event in my life.
Your Sense of Smell is responsible for 75% of the emotions you experience on a day-to-day basis. It’s your SUPERPOWER. The question is – are you using scent to enhance your life or is it collecting dust under the bed?
Unlike any of your other senses (touch, taste, sight, sound), you’re 100x more likely to remember something based on smell rather than what you’re seeing, touching or hearing. When you combine your senses of sight, sound, and smell, you create a complex 4D experience of our present reality.
Do you have a scent memory that you can think of right now? It could be something you smelt when you were as young as 5 years old… like cut grass, or the ocean on a hot summer day… or it could be the smell of freshly baked bread or grandma’s baking, or a lover’s perfume?
Think of smell right now that you immediately associate with a certain thing or certain somebody in your life…
Once you’ve got a scent memory, ponder for a second…
How does that smell make you feel?
Does it bring up feelings of comfort, joy, love, heartbreak, and nostalgia?
That immediate emotional response you just experienced has been anchored into your memory through repetition of smell and emotional response.
How does this work? – Because your olfactory bulb (sense of smell) that are located at the back of your nose is directly connected to your amygdala (part of the brain that processes emotions) and your hippocampus (the part that stored your memories). This means that when you have a heightened emotional experience or reaction, your brain captures the smell in combination with the feeling and stores it as one process. So each time you have that experience or smell the smell, you’re emotions are also triggered simultaneously. This explains why the smell of something even from as young as 5 or 7 years old can so immediately trigger a detailed memory or even intense emotion.
It’s now proven that scent has a direct impact on your life. Up to 75% impact in fact.
The use of scent in your everyday life, whether it’s the smell of your home, work environment, perfume or cologne, is more than an accessory, it’s an extension of you and will become a signature for not only how others perceive you but the emotional state that you wish to tap into.
Creating your own bespoke scent is a way for you to express the most unique and authentic version of yourself that people will begin to associate directly with you and no one else because no one else in the world has your signature scent.
I thoroughly recommend the experience to anyone that would like to create something special for either themselves or someone special in their lives. Luana also has a variety of packages available for groups and couples that are getting married that may want to create a bespoke scent for their wedding day and/or bridal party.
To learn more about the process of creating your own scent or to book a creation, visit by clicking here.