Ever notice how memories are tied to smell? The scent of a specific perfume or cologne reminds you of that hot night you two spent together during the last snowstorm. Or a whiff of an ex's signature scent, be it soap, cologne or perfume, makes you think about sending a text message or post on their Facebook wall to see how they're doing despite the fact that he or she ripped your heart to shreds.
That's the power of smell.
Most people underestimate the sense of smell and the overall effect it has on our emotional, mental and physical state. Specially blended aromas can subtly set the stage for sensual and memorable encounters.
Creative Loafing headed to Sophie's Soaps and Such in Uptown Charlotte to find out what scents are a turn on. Owner and mixologist, Sophie B. President, has been creating scents for 10 years and said that aromatherapy impacts a person's brain because when you smell something, it is transcribed into your body and your memory.
"A lot of us, if you can remember there was a certain song, whenever you hear it it brings back those memories. It's the same thing with fragrances. ... That's why it's important, when you make products to make it where it will invoke good memory," she said.
So, if smells can make you feel good, can they also make you want to get it on? President answered that question and more.
Creative Loafing: To invoke good memory and pleasure, what are some popular fragrances?
President: A lot of people that I deal with like lavender and of course it has therapeutic properties. Rose petals and roses, chocolate. And sandalwood is said to be very sensual.
What would you say are some fragrances for men that women find attractive?
Well, that depends on your taste. Several of my customers are men and their fragrance desires run a big gamut. Most of the men, though, fall into the heavier fragrances very earthy and spicy. Like patchouli, which is a very musky, heavy fragrance, and it smells really good. But I have some men that like baby powder [scent]. It's not a real sensual oil, but they like that clean smell. I tend to like the very heady and heavy fragrances, you know where you just smell like a man. As long as a man is clean and smells good, that's what's important.
What about women? What do men like on women?
That's hard to pinpoint, but I have found that most of the women like a combination of a citrus and a heavy fragrance. So, I have a soap that is a patchouli and an orange. It depends on how much orange I add as to how light the fragrance becomes. So, the majority of the women I know like that fragrance. That patchouli really gets you. But I have some very light fragrances, too.
If someone is trying to create a romantic evening and they want to use aromatherapy, what are your suggestions for getting the mood right?
I generally would use a combination of things, it would be roses. Even better, let me give you my favorite combination: ylang ylang and sandalwood, a shot of vanilla and a shot of patchouli. That is what I call my "sensual massage oil" combination. Aside from just putting some candle out, you can include a massage in your evening. Bathing works very well; put essential oil in the bath water. And you can even do each other's hair. When you prepare an evening with food, fellowship, combing the hair and the whole nine yards, that really works. Guys really get into combing your hair. You put the oil in your hair and the oil has the aromatherapy. He combs your hair and gives you a bath; that is a wonderful and romantic evening.
You can find more sensual fragrances and President herself on Facebook or a www.sophiessoapsandsuch.com.
There is one tip she wants everyone to know: "Nothing smells worse than fresh oil on a sweaty body." So, before you add these sexy smells, hit the showers first!