Recently, during a session with perfume maker Sue Phillips, a COVID sufferer regained her sense of smell while attempting to make a custom fragrance. See here. The experience happened at The Scentarium, a New York city boutique where people come to make their own signature sent with Phillips, a veteran who has created fragrances for Tiffany and Burberry.
Lyss Stern, a mother of three, lost her sense of taste and smell last year after contracting the virus. Known as a "long hauler," she still experiences symptoms, which also include exhaustion, anxiety, insomnia, etc. She met with Phillips in an attempt to regain some sense of smell. During the meeting, Lyss suddenly recognized hints of vanilla, lavender, musk and other ingredients. As the session deepened, Lyss became emotional as she began combining the oils to make her own perfume.
I had a chance to learn more in this interview.
Why did you decide to try to help people regain their sense of smell by making a custom fragrance?
We have been creating Custom Fragrances for clients for many years now, and only since Covid, people are becoming depressed and desperate as they realize how important life is without their sense of smell. In the last three weeks since the news videos aired we have been inundated with literally hundreds of calls from people who have suffered from Sensory Loss. At our Scent Healing Consultation sessions we help people evaluate our different perfume blends which are really lovely and high quality. Miraculously, clients have been able to ‘detect’ the different aromas. Based on that, we create a fragrance for them based on the ingredients they are able to smell and ask them to continue ‘practicing’ smelling. We always say that we cannot guarantee results and certainly try to help people understand how to smell and thankfully we have seen positive results.
> Can you share a little bit about how your sense of smell is now? Has it changed from before Covid or does it continue to improve?
The several people with whom we have met have had pretty amazing results. Marissa continues to be able to smell – candles, food, restaurants and flowers. Lyss still says she is smelling a little.
The others are also continuing to have improvements. They are thrilled
> People often overlook their sense of smell, but why is it so important?
Our most powerful sense is our Sense of Smell as it connects Memory and Emotion as well as Taste and Smell. People now are realizing how crucial our Sense of Smell is for the enjoyment of life and love! Hundreds of people are suffering from depression because they are not able to socialize and enjoy outings with their family and loved ones because it always revolves around food. As a results they really retract from society and don’t want to mingle as they cannot partake of sensory enjoyment. It is really so incredibly depressing and we are raising awareness about Sensory loss through fragrance.
> Is there anything else you'd like to share about your story?
I am overwhelmed at the amount of people who have reached out to us from all over the country who are desperate to find help, and am so grateful that we have been able to help people rediscover their Sense of Smell. I always preface my conversations with the fact that I am not a doctor, scientist or chemist – but through my life’s work in the fragrance industry I have come to realize and understand how important our Sense of Smell is to the overall enjoyment of life. I am truly grateful that people have been reaching out to us and it is tragic that it has taken Covid to realize the importance of this crucial POWERFUL sense.