Stair Jumping Smell: I Create Children's Fragrances In Hospice

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Stair Jumping Smell: I Create Children's Fragrances In Hospice
Stair Jumping Smell: I Create Children's Fragrances In Hospice

Video: Stair Jumping Smell: I Create Children's Fragrances In Hospice

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Video: Tom ford ombre leather parfum, first sniff.. 2023, January

Recently a story was published in the British press, how a teenager came out of a coma, smelling his favorite deodorant. For several months, doctors worked on his condition, there were parents and friends nearby - but it seems that it was the familiar scent that made the body wake up. This story is a happy accident, but we can confidently say that smells can affect a person's emotions. They evoke memories, affect mood, and sometimes appetite, sleep, and pain perception. We talked with Olga Alexander, who created a gallery of fragrances for children with serious illnesses, about her projects.

Text: Daria Bigun


In the classic version, perfumers work with scents, who have been studying at a perfumery school for five years, studying composition, chemistry, biology, and the history of perfume. After school, you can go on an internship at a perfume house, but in general, studies do not stop all your life. It is important to develop a perfume style, to know how aromas develop, how to emphasize one component using another. I have a different education: in Minsk I graduated from the Medical University with a medical degree and specialization in neurology and psychology. Later I moved to Belgium and received my degree in biochemistry at the Free University of Brussels.

Smells that won't get tired of the nose

I worked with cosmetics for a long time - I wrote chemical formulas. Then it got boring, and I moved on to the expertise - this is when we take an already created formula and check it according to different parameters, decide whether it can be released on the market. Once I got to the stand of a niche perfumery and was very surprised: my nose did not get tired of a single smell, with each composition I discovered something new for myself. Then I got carried away with this topic, and with the education of a biochemist, it turned out to be easier to study it.

I told my husband a lot about my passion for fragrances, and we decided to open a rare perfumery gallery in the center of Brussels. In it, in addition to selling perfumes, I began to do master classes on topics that I was well versed in: compositions, concentration, how to choose a perfume, and so on. During these workshops, I noticed how smells sometimes awakened memories in clients, including traumatic ones, and a person could even start crying. I began to read everything I could find about the sense of smell (it is interesting that a child can smell smells even in utero) and the effect of scents on emotions; then she combined all her knowledge into a new business - she began to select perfumery wardrobes. Someone came with the goal of finding a smell that would help to overcome embarrassment, someone asked for one with which one could feel more confident at work.

After some time, doctors from local clinics learned about my consultations and began referring patients to me, and then they began to invite me to hospitals. This is primarily about mental disorders such as anorexia nervosa. Smells can be used as an aid to awaken memories; memories, in turn, can increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy.

Of course, we are not talking about aromatherapy in the format “citrus invigorates, but mint relaxes”. Personal experience plays a huge role in perception, and if a person has experienced a trauma in a lavender field, then the smell of lavender will only awaken tragic memories. I create complex layered compositions. True, at a certain stage I also work with basic essential oils - they allow you to find out if a person is allergic to this or that component, whether odors cause migraines or nausea.

Phantom Smells

I once had a rape patient who remembered the smell of a criminal - the smell of semen mixed with Hugo Boss perfume. When she heard this perfume - and it must be said, it is extremely popular - the emotions associated with trauma revived.Her psychotherapist approached me, and we needed to desensitize (reduce sensitivity. - Approx. ed.) to this aroma. In addition, she had a disorder of smell, the so-called parosmia - she heard phantom odors. This can be called an olfactory hallucination.

We decided to make a composition, in the center of which there will be a perfume that worries her, and around it - other scents associated with positive memories. I made an imprint of this Hugo Boss, and we trained the brain to not trigger traumatic reactions. As soon as the patient begins to smell the phantom, she brings the olfactory stimulant (small bottle) and inhales it.


Angel perfume

A month after the birth of the child, I returned to active work and began to engage in olfactory therapy for myself, making myself stimulants. I really love the smell of rhubarb, currant, currant buds, complex scents with sandalwood and rosewood. The scents gave me strength during my sleepless nights. During this period, one person came to me - with a request for a smell that would help him gain confidence in order to move on in his career. In a conversation, I learned that many years ago he lost his daughter, who had cancer. Around the same time, I was informed that a regular client of mine had died of cancer. A few days after these events, I saw on TV the production of "The Lady in Pink" ("Oscar and the Pink Lady" by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. - Approx. ed.). And then I came up with the idea of ​​a charity project for children with serious illnesses. I wanted to create a gallery of fragrances that would help make their life easier.

I discussed the idea with various perfumers and perfume houses, with my students. Then I started looking for contacts and went to the children's hospice in Belarus. At first, there were twenty-five families in it. Some of the scents were made by me, some - by my students and familiar perfumers. I got to know the patients, talked, watched how they react to different smells and olfactory trends. We tried to find an individual approach: some children worried about pain, others - fear.

Then we compiled several stimulants at the request of the children themselves - for example, one girl asked for the smell of "jumping stairs." The scent was invented by my student, musky-fruity. For a boy with heart sarcoma, we made the smell of a pine-needle summer forest along with a fruity smell. This child was lucky - the prognosis was very poor, but the parents agreed to experimental therapy, and now only a scar remains at the site of the tumor. One girl with lymphoma asked to smell salt, ocean and coconut cocktail - she uses it before bed and it helps her to relax and dream.

In two years, out of twenty-five children, only ten survived. From the very beginning I understood that we were talking about serious incurable diseases, but I also understood something else: if we cannot cure a child, this does not mean that we cannot help him. With the disease, both the character and the way of life change - not only the patient, but also his family. Angel Perfume is a project whose task is to alleviate suffering: to improve sleep, reduce the sensation of pain, and relax the child. Smell food - fresh tomatoes or smoked meat - because many people feed through a straw and cannot taste it.

When children received perfume, their stimulants, it was already a holiday for them - because someone, somewhere, in another corner of the earth, did something for them. We decided to collect olfactory stimulants for parents as well, to support them. One mother asked for the scent of the sea, as she had never been there. We also made a scent for parents who survived the death of a child. When a person wants to be with the departed, this is an intimate moment; parents can smell the baby next to them, close their eyes, grieve.

There is a family with whom I continue to closely communicate: grandmother, mother and daughter. Mom fell ill with cancer, and the little girl was also diagnosed with a tumor at that moment.The girl's mother passed away, the baby is now in remission. The grandmother is in a very serious condition, and the girl, who is six years old, often says that it would be better if she died and not her mother. For my grandmother, I made a scent for her daughter so that she could put it on the pillow and speak out.

I am very sad when my patients die. I am sorry that I will never hug them again, I will never see them. I sympathize with parents who have lost a child - there is not even a word in any language in the world to describe it. When creating these fragrances, it was important for me to make sure that a person leaves in peace, not in agony. After all, the child is afraid not so much of dying as of not being loved anymore.

About projects

Angel Perfume is also a scientific project. Throughout the year, we recorded changes in the emotions and behavior of children when they sniffed their olfactory stimulant. A psychologist worked with them in the hospice and used these scents in his studies. Two of my students from the Higher School of Perfumery in Paris moved to Minsk for a year, so that they had the opportunity to refine some stimulants and be present with patients. All in all, we are working hard to build the evidence base for olfactory therapy. Last February, we did another study on burnout prevention. If the source of stress cannot be removed, you can try to change your reaction to it - we created compositions just for this purpose.

Now I am developing a project with a clinic in Lille for girls who are being treated for anorexia nervosa - this is the development of the right attitude to food through olfactory stimulation. Mortality from diseases associated with eating disorders is very high, but few people talk about it. I would very much like to introduce olfactory therapy into the psychotherapeutic process. I continue to teach at the Graduate School of Perfumery in Paris, my course is related to the therapeutic aspect of fragrances. I am grateful to my students, many of whom helped to create compositions for children with serious illnesses.

PHOTOS: mkos83 -, Leonid -


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