The art of perfume is benevolent and majestic as explored inSue Phillips’ staggeringly researched and lively anecdotal new book “The Power of Perfume.”Phillips, a renowned and award-winning “Scentrepreneur” has a “scentarium” located on the Upper East Side where she creates bespoke perfumes for high-class clientele as well as celebrities such as Katie Holmes and Jamie Foxx. She also created the first ever fragrance for Tiffany & Co. as VP of theTiffany Perfume in 1987.Phillips begins her enormously instructive book discussing the five senses and highlights that, after sight, scent is our most powerful sense as it connects memory and emotion. And there’s a science behind this: our olfactory nerve in the nasal cavity connects to the olfactory cortex within the brain’s temporal lobe, and particularly with Amygdala — which is connected to emotion — and the cortex, which is involved in the formation of memory. And thus, through this complex system, scent can trigger powerful feelings and transport us back to memories of different places, times and moments in our lives.Phillips broke down the basics of perfumery to amNewYorkMetro using her olfactory pyramid, explaining how this was a structure of “top notes,” “heart notes” and “base notes.”Sue Phillips with one of her divine, bespoke perfumes.Top notes hit first, they tend to be lighter and initiate the overall scent; the heart notes leave the biggest impact of the overall scent and are named to convey their importance as “the main theme or the heart because [they] are the most memorable part of a fragrance”; and the “base notes,” which are darker, deeper and more long-lasting as they “dry down” and can have a “scent life” of as long as 8 hours.The pyramid also introduced amNewYork Metro to the “fragrance families”of which there are eight: citrus, herbs, flowers, green, fruits, spices, woods and balsam, each of which possess their own unique characteristics that can be combined with infinite delicacy to suit your body chemistry. For ease Phillips narrowed these down to fresh, florals, woodsy and Oriental / spicy.
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Did you know that you can purchase Sue Phillips Book? The Power of Perfume: How to Choose It, Wear it and Enjoy It!(Central Park South Publishing Company; $19.95) is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.