The loss of the sense of smell is a symptom of COVID-19. Many who recover from the virus wait months before their ability to smell returns – and many others are still waiting. (Related: Yes, it’s REAL: Coronavirus patients are losing their sense of smell and taste – and aren’t getting them back.)
This is why Phillips began promoting a “fragrance journey” in her custom perfumery in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood. The store, which she has owned for over 12 years, launched the “scent therapy healing program” earlier this year.
For $650, Phillips’ clients can get one meeting with her and a custom fragrance to take home.
During this meeting, her clients will go through many different scents such as vanilla, musk, lavender and amber. These scents are divided between three types of scents – top notes, or lighter fragrances; medium notes, such as fruity or floral scents; and base notes like vanilla.
The clients will go through these individually with the use of scented strips to help arouse their sense of smell. She explained that this process was like exercise for the brain.
The fragrance expert claims her “fragrance journey” program has helped over 20 people regain at least some of their sense of smell since it began.
Many of Phillips’ clients tell stories of their sense of smell suddenly reawakening
Phillips got the idea for her “fragrance journey” program last year when a friend sent Lyss Stern, a COVID-19 survivor, to her shop. Stern lost her sense of smell in March 2020 and never got it back.
“I said to her, ‘Look, I’m not a doctor, and I’m not a chemist, but I know the extraordinary powers of fragrance,'” said Phillips during an interview with celebrity news magazine People. Phillips took Stern through the fragrance journey, and by the time the latter got to the base notes, her dormant sense of smell started waking up.
“She couldn’t really smell the top notes, she couldn’t really identify the middle notes, but then [when she got to the base notes] suddenly there was a flicker in her eye, and she said, ‘I can smell something. I don’t know what it is, but I can smell something.'”
Phillips said Stern started crying when she realized she could smell the vanilla and amber scents on the strips.
“She texted me about three hours later and said, “I cannot believe what you just did, for the first time I’m smelling my candles, I’m smelling restaurants, I’m smelling food. I have not been able to do this,'” recalled Phillips. “It was like the fog had lifted and she could smell.”
Stern isn’t the only one who had her sense of smell reawakened by Phillips’ “fragrance journey.” According to the perfumer, 20 people have regained at least some of their sense of smell since the program began.
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.