They had a nose for nothing this past year, but now some COVID-19 long-haulers can finally stop to smell the roses — thanks to a legendary perfumer who’s leading them on a $650 “fragrance journey.”
Perfumer Sue Phillips, who has created scents for Tiffany and Burberry, is helping virus survivors who’ve lost their sense of smell.
“A piece of my life was missing, and I’m elated that something dormant for more than a year is triggered. Now [my sense of smell] is on full blast,” said Tammy Farrell, 51, after her hourlong session at Phillips’ eponymous fragrance boutique on the Upper East Side.
Farrell lost her ability to smell when she came down with the coronavirus in March 2020. The Long Island mom of three kept waiting for her nose to kick into action but, despite sniffing garlic powder and walking past fragrant bakeries, she had no luck.
“I figured I’d suck it up for a few weeks, but then weeks turns into months and months,” said Farrell, a customer success manager. She eventually sought out neurologists and had brain scans and blood work done, but everything turned up normal. “I couldn’t smell anything, and no one knew why. You just can’t help but cry,” she said, adding, “I couldn’t smell my favorite candles or my husband’s cologne. I couldn’t enjoy eating — it just became fuel for my body, not pleasure.”
When her daughter alerted her to a gas odor in the basement and Farrell couldn’t smell it, she knew she needed help. “When you can’t smell gasoline leaks, it’s a huge problem,” said Farrell. “I didn’t have any more options.”
Phillips, who has owned her custom perfumery for 12 years, launched the scent therapy healing program earlier this year.
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.