Saturday Question: Respritz Happiness




Hello Fellow Fumies,

Every Saturday we have a Question, an idea purloined from Olfactoria’s Travels. Everyone gets to chime in with an answer, chat with other responders and it is a fun event each week. Taking sides never means taking offence and everyone keeps it respectful and light, even though we can sometimes trawl the depths.

The idea is you’ll see it on the weekend or chime in through the week. Hopefully you will come back and see if anyone has responded to your comment and you can reply to them.


Saturday Question: Respritz Happiness

As you may know I have a very low level depression problem. It’s 98% of the time not even noticeable, just a quiet background hum of dis-ease or dis-quiet. After a childhood spent in therapy of one sort or another I have a few really simple coping mechanisms for the other 2% of the time. My depression is low level and though it can be sharply bleak and awful it’s usually caught at spiral stage. I’m not offering medical advice, just an insight into how my mind works.

One is cleaning. I get up and clean something, anything. It could be the kitchen bench, my bathroom mirror and vanity, grab the vacuum. Literally any cleaning. It derails my depression spiral and having done something positive and action based I’m usually back on track.

After Mum died I was finding it hard to even move off the couch or bed. The doctor said to me that if I could just get up and clean my teeth in the morning and before I went to bed at night then that would be a day not lost. Amazingly this small 2 minute moment of self care and hygiene would snap me out of my funk.

Anyway, I also discovered that spritzing perfume is also a magical depression derailer. A big old spritz of something I love or even better something new will take my mind away from the ill humours and put me onto a positively thoughtful track. It completely interrupts my sinking and helps me rise above.

Here are a couple of my favourite Respritz Happiness scents:

Liberte by Cacharel FragranticaFragrantica

Cacarel Liberté

Yeah, I talk about this one a lot. That zingy orange fizzy pop over a white musk/clean patchouli base is no great masterpiece but it does give me a joyful lift every time. I have hoarded a bunch of it for just such occasions but I also wear it when I’m happy.

Five O`Clock Au Gingembre Serge Lutens FragranticaFragrantica

Serge Lutens Five O`Clock Au Gingembre

The opening spicy ginger tea makes me smile every time. There’s something totally engulfing about it that sends my mind on the happiest of neural paths. It remains pretty through the heart and base but it’s the opening that gets me every time.

Paris-Moscow Guerlain FragranticaFragrantica

Guerlain Les Voyages Olfactifs 01 Paris-Moscow

SWEET! Zingy fruit and vanilla over a soft woodsy backdrop with a hint of white flowers. Paris-Moscow is so far removed from what I usually wear that it snaps me to attention. Very sadly I never bought a new bottle, thinking I had time, and then it was gone. Luckily I did find a partial bottle and I have some decants. Obviously I can’t spritz with abandon but there’s enough for now.

My Saturday Question to you is:

Who among you does this? Is it just me or do others among us use fragrance for more than just personal scenting? What fragrances do you use?


48 comments on “Saturday Question: Respritz Happiness

  1. fanny says:

    Absolutely, I know what you are talking about.
    My mood lifting perfumes are Guerlain Metalys, Opus VIII, Fahrenheit Absolue, Penhaligon’s Artemisia, PG Isparta and Bracken woman.
    I wish all of us splendid times. ❤

  2. Erica says:

    Oh yes absolutely, I do this too all the time!! Portia thank you for sharing this vividly honest and inspiring facet of your life! I love how you lean to scents featuring bright, citrusy, crisply fruity top notes when you need a lift. Those types of sunshine notes are very powerful aromatherapy, brilliant.
    Personally I tend to use a mellow approach when I’m feeling blue. I tend soothe my spirit with lavender, or frankincense, or sandalwood. Sometimes rose or jasmine. Scents like these seem to harmonize with a quiet introspective peacefulness and gently comfort me.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Erica,
      Lavender and sandalwood, perfectly soothing and incense is so zen. Of course you have picked such smooth and mellow scents to calm the savage beast.
      I can imagine you sitting blissfully in a cloud of them.
      Portia xx

  3. Margo says:

    Such a lovely and powerful read, Portia.

  4. rosarita313 says:

    Thanks for your (as always) honest thoughts, Portia. On dark days I generally need solitude and strong sensory things to keep me in the moment so I waft huge clouds of perfumes I love, like Shalimar, Angel, Obsession and others. Then I turn on the music really loud, wear my softest garb, look at my Pinterest boards of art and design. Or I curl up in a ball with Habanita or Hypnotic Poison and watch Netflix all day.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi Rosarita313,
      Yeah, solitude is a good one. Some of my depression comes from too many people and too much input. Some me time will help calm the waters.
      Fabulous spritz choices, keep them big and boisterous.
      Netflix! What did we do without it? Seriously?
      Portia xx

    • Saffyishere says:

      Habanita is a great choice, Rosarita. do you have an ‘art deco’ Pinterest board?

      • rosarita313 says:

        Hi Saffyishere! Not exclusively Art Deco but I have boards that cover different time periods and interiors that have a lot of Art Deco content. Also seasons, arts of all kinds, nature, animals, jewelry, perfume etc, nothing esp unique but I enjoy looking through them. Pinterest seems to have changed, I don’t spend much time there anymore. What board topics are your favorites?

  5. Mariann says:

    Ive been thinking about this recently. Ive only had light episodes and none in recent years but every so often there’ll be a day and yes just the simple act of doing anything helps. And reading about perfume and other beautiful stuff soothes and spritzing the first perfume that my hand falls on 🙂

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Mariann,
      So glad to read your episodes have been light and rare. Keep spritzing. It may be the magic formula.
      Portia xx

  6. Kate Spritz says:

    Perfumes are the safest mood altering intervention I can think of. My lastest is the newly acquired Ormonde Jayne Jardin d’Imbre (exclusive to Fortnum & Mason). It’s pretty and perfect to wear anywhere. It’s been getting me compliments too.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey there Kate,
      Fortnum & Mason is my favourite London store. Sadly, last time we were at high tea they had completely ruined the fun and we were devastated.
      I bet Ormonde Jayne Jardin d’ombre is yummy! I like her work. Bet you smell killer in it.
      Portia xx

  7. Maggiecat says:

    Yes, perfume is more than just a beautiful art form that I can wear -it’s a vital part of what helps me cope. I have chronic, sometimes severe, pain due to autoimmune illnesses -rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondilitis, and fibromyalgia. I’m currently recovering from ankle fusion surgery necessitated by the RA; the AS led to spinal fusion surgery 8 years ago. I take medications, do physical therapy, and try to have a good attitude. Perfume helps – it lifts my mood, provides a distraction, brings pleasure instead of pain. While I wouldn’t wish depression or pain on anyone, it’s nice to know I’m not alone in using scent as therapy!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      WOW MaggieCat,
      You got the agony trifecta. Sorry to read it.
      So glad that fragrance helps you through, anything to lighten the load.
      Portia xx

  8. Marzipan says:

    Portia I truly commend you for bringing mental health into light…so many folks are not comfortable with this topic but it does need to be addressed…mental health issues can be just as devastating and debilitating as physical diseases..
    OK I am off my soap box now!

    Fragrances that make me happy or serene….Orange Sanguine, SSS Jour Ensoleille, Reglisse Noire, Tibetan Mountain Temple, lavender essential oil, dark patchouli essential oil, frankincense essential oil, sandalwood essential oil (can you see I am a base note gal?) and a new discovery- Phlur Greylocke which is chock full of vetiver (not normally a note I gravitate towards)….I love this new discovery….I wore it yesterday for my first day back to work and it was like a magical force field around me…pure aromatherapy…..

    • Marzipan says:

      and one of these days I will get my mitts on 5 Oclock….can’t believe I have not tried it yet!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Marzipan,
      Thanks. Soap boxes welcome.
      I love Reglisse Noire and Tibetan Mountain Temple too. Very calming.
      A vetiver that gives you powers sounds wonderful.
      Portia xx

  9. kes says:

    Hi there Portia,

    This is a topic of great interest to me! In 2005 L’Heure Bleue got me through a terrible time. I found it incredibly, almost therapeutically, calming. Within two months I’d drained my 75ml bottle of edp.

    Years later, in an old book of perfumes published in the 1980’s, I read that L’Heure Bleue contained wormwood, a herb known for its tranquilizing effect and one which has long been used for depression and anxiety.

    How I wish I’d saved some of that bottle! The EU/IFRA restrictions have rendered L’Heure Bleue a completely different fragrance.

    Marzipan mentioned Orange Sanguine – also one one of my happy-making fragrances, along with Grand Neroli. But for those dark nights of the soul and those days when the black dog really bites, like Erica I turn to sandalwood – and to Samsara. Or sometimes I envelop myself in a huge cloud of Drole de Rose, and go to bed. It’s almost impossible to take anything – myself especially – too seriously when I’m all wrapped up in such pretty pink fluffiness!


    • Tiffanie says:

      I enjoy the current L’Heure Bleue and can imagine that it must have been truly glorious in the past. I wear it in the winter when it feels deliciously cozy. Grand Neroli is a great cologne I had forgotten about, I must find my sample!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Kes,
      L’Heure Bleu would be a perfect antidote. I can see it wrapping you tight and cozy.
      Yes, Samsara is another that I love. I have here some of the original parfum in the spritz red plastic canister. When I spray it on there is little else my mind can focus on, engulfing to say the least.
      Portia xx

    • Anna Maria says:

      wormwood and the perfume interesting fact and glad it worked!
      That’s the thing with vintage fragrances the formula changes.

  10. Kate Apted says:

    Funnily enough, I am reading this post whilst listening to the birds and the very slight wind, and watching the shadows in front of me disappear ever so slowly. I am sitting outside at 5.30am with my doona wrapped around me. I am in a haze of coffee and Mon Guerlain.

    It breaks my heart to know people get depressed. I used to firmly believe, when I was a teen, that if I suffered deeper depression, it might stop others being depressed. Like I could help take others’ pain away. It doesn’t work that way, apparently.

    Portia, one of the things I respect so much about you is your ability to state things as they are, in a frank and neutral way. You are instrumental in opening up conversations others find awkward, uncomfortable or taboo. That may well be the best therapy anyone can offer. Thank you.

    • Tiffanie says:

      Yes, exactly this!

    • rosarita313 says:

      Kate, your comment touches me deeply. My beautiful daughter suffers from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder with some hallucinations. It’s the most heartbreaking, helpless feeling to see her struggle and only be able to imagine how she must feel. I would not be at all surprised if she told me exactly what you said, that if her suffering was bad enough it would help others not have to feel that way. Mental illnesses are so cruel and misunderstood, thank you for your courage.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Kate,
      What a perfect way to wake up. It’s very rare for me to be about at that time but on the rare occasion i was in Pymble; the birds, slap of the pool water and the wind softly whispering through the turpentines would soothe my soul.
      It’s wonderful to have you as part of the APJ family Kate.
      Portia xx

    • Anna Maria says:

      100% agree Kate

  11. Tiffanie says:

    A friend told me her survival strategy for bad days was to make her bed right away. That small moment of action helped her cope the rest of the day, perhaps a bit like your tooth cleaning advice. When I see the dark edges creeping in I clean and tidy. Spotless mirrors lighten my mood, and sparkling surfaces in the kitchen make the cooking chores more pleasant.

    Colognes are always a great choice. I love them. Atelier’s Trefle Pur is my cheerful cologne and Oolang Infini feels restorative. When the weather is not too hot No. 5 gives me comfort. And Hiris always makes me smile.

    Great weekend question! I will enjoy reading everyone’s comments.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi Tiffanie,
      A tidy bed is an easy and wonderful thing. As are clean kitchen benches. I also find clearing my desk a great mood cleanser.
      Isn’t Trefle Pur the bomb, who could feel anything but joyous wearing it?
      Portia xx

  12. Undina says:

    Dear Portia,
    I’m glad that you found those coping mechanisms for yourself and share it with us. As others have mentioned above, it is important for all of us to have these topics discussed freely.

    For me the best way of dealing with any problems is to keep my routines, one of each is to wear one of my favorite perfumes. I try to do it every day, no matter what (unless it is as hot as today 40C) or I’m really sick.
    Undina recently posted…Back to School: Dress CodeMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Undina,
      Yes, I try to get some faves on my skin as often as possible too. It’s very easy as a blogger to wear only the newest things that arrive in the post and forget the true loves.
      Portia xx

  13. Alanna Maloney says:

    I love this question. Mood lifters I will reapply: Bond No. 9, New York Oud; Nikki de Saint Phalle; Lanvin, Arpege; I don’t reapply as often or with as many scents as I thought. Guaranteed mood lifters Amouage, Ubar; Balmain, Ivoire; Balmain, Jolie Madame. Thanks for making me assess!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there Alanna,
      Niki de Saint Phalle and Ubar are excellent go dos on my list also.
      Assessing is good for any reason.
      Portia x

  14. JimS says:

    When I get down, I find a cuddle with my dog helps. I wear cistus oil (labdanum) or Donna Karan’s labdanum essence. So soothing! I know my dog understands because he’s not normally a cuddler.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Aha! Yes, my Paris is always there with a snuffle and cuddle when I’m down. No better diversion really than getting him and Jin’s dog Jinx and going for a wander across the road in the Cemetery Park. Very calming.
      Portia xx

  15. Lillibet says:

    Hi Portia,

    I definitely use perfume to influence my mental state.

    My favourite pick me ups when I feel down are generally ridiculously tangy & fruity e.g. Hermes Rubarb Ecalarte or Pamplemousse Rose or realky rosey like CgG’s Grace by Grace Coddington or Serge’s La Fill de Berlin.
    I keep a little roll on of Malin & Goetz’s Petigrain oil in my desk at work for this exact purpose when I need a boost but am at work. I can put a little on the back of my hand and get an instant mood lift. JHAG’s Gentlewoman is another that gives this feel for the whole day.

    On days that start out wrong I often go for a ginger kick like Jo Malone’s Dark Amber & Gingerlily or Serge’s Five O’Clock Gingembre.

    For comfort I like Le Petite Robe Noire EdP, Black Perfecto or simething with lavender e.g. Gris Clair, Encens et Lavande or my new favourite Bouge MEM.

    Lil Xx

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Lil,
      I love your choices. You’ve really thought it out for yourself. I think that’s part of managing ourselves, taking the time to understand what works and giving ourselves options.
      JHAG’s Gentlewoman is really good, I’m glad to see someone else feeling the love for it.
      Portia xx

  16. Anna Maria says:

    You always get me Portia, with your honesty.So true what you say.
    Yes some alone time, helps me too.

    Fix the bed brush your teeth, spray some fragrance, live your life.!

    I love everything in my cupboard, so it depends on the day and my mood, today fathers day wearing Reveal Calvin Klein cos I was in a hurry and its on my dressing table.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Anna Maria,
      A little alone time in an overfill life can give everyone a boost. It’s blissful for me.

      I bet you are rocking the calvin Klein Reveal. I like the bottle it comes in.
      Portia xx

  17. Bernadette Winfield Gray says:

    In a whirlwind week I have now stopped to sniff what is happening at APJ. Once again I am touched by how honest and supportive are the people in this group. I too have occasional visits from the Black Dog. Alas, cleaning is not my panacea: I save that for study procrastination! Scent helps me out of the negative self recriminations. I reach for Caleche, which always makes feel important, and Givenchy III for its warmth, Shalimar for, well, Shalimar, though the vanilla must have something to do with it. Lucky for me Depression rarely visits me in summer; if it did I would splash about Eau de Givenchy. Thanks Portia for your honesty, generosity and wit.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Bernadette,
      Sad to read you get depression. Who could feel so dark when spritzed with Caleche or Shalimar? It would have to be a pretty deep funk.
      Lovely to see you, as always.
      Portia x

  18. Nina Z says:

    Portia, you most definitely are not alone. Probably one of the reasons we perfumistas are so obsessed with perfume is because of the way it effects our emotions. For me, I do tend to certain perfumes when I’m feeling depressed. I particularly find spicy scents energizing and uplifting, including carnation perfumes (like Santa Maria Novella Garofano, Prada Oeillet, Metalys, etc.) and spice bombs like Diptyque Eau Lente and Noir Epices. I really like those on cold rainy winter mornings or foggy summer mornings. I also find orange blossom uplifting (like Seville a L’Aube). I turn to other types of perfumes when I’m feeling anxious or stressed, such as incense fragrances.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hi there NinaZ,
      Sorry to read the Black Dog visits you also.
      Yes, I think you have hit upon something. Many perfumistas I know are responding to the emotions scent invokes.
      Beautiful choices, I love Seville a L’Aube too. It is incredibly sunshiny.
      Portia xxx

  19. Amy says:

    Thanks for this post Portia. There are times when I need to let myself stay tucked in my bed or the sofa – although I do try to brush my teeth – and others when I need to make myself move. It’s been a long struggle learning when is which, if that makes sense: when I need to give myself a break for a bit and when the break is just making the depression and anxiety worse. But to your question! A bad spell two years ago was what brought me to perfume and perfume helped me get out of it. I never wore perfume when I was younger, around 40 or so found a couple of things I liked, then in this depressive moment realized that the smell of the beach, say, as I tried to sleep, really helped take me to another place. Now I am never without scent and opening myself up to another sense – I am a real book visual person – has been wonderful for me. Even my person excuses the expenditures because it has helped me so much. And he likes the nice smells too!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      WOW! I love that you have also found respite through fragrance Amy.
      It’s so powerful and can take us quickly and easily into a positive spin.
      Portia xx

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