How to create the scent of success

Anyone who has walked a little taller or beamed a little more broadly after inhaling a certain scent will know the power our sense of smell has over us.

The alchemy is such that even just a faint whiff of the right perfume at the right time can have a hugely positive impact on our state of mind, behaviour and even performance. With this in mind, we’ve identified when a little fragrant help might come in handy, and which fragrances could make all the difference.

Image: Omer Knaz

1. The job interview

Scent profile: confident, calming, classy

Few fragrances radiate confidence (not to mention sophistication) like those from the house of Chanel. Perhaps this is because Gabrielle Chanel’s first fragrance – No.5 – was born from her own supreme self-assurance: never before had a dressmaker successfully launched a perfume, much less one with synthetic ingredients.

Today, every fragrance by Chanel is crafted with that same confidence, the latest of which is Les Exclusifs Misia (100ml £274) – inspired by a strong and free-spirited artist's muse. The accord combines soft, powdery violet and iris with strong base notes of tonka bean and benzoin.

Also try:

Terry de Gunzburg Terryfic Oud L’Eau (100ml, £135)

2. The important date

Scent profile: sensual, assured, warm

At the risk of sounding indelicate, there comes a point during every courtship when we no longer want to smell like hearts and flowers; we want to smell sexy. Ludicrously, irresistibly, sexy. At this stage, try introducing a scent that contains plenty of musk – the perfumery note most commonly associated with the smell of our skin.

One of the all-time most seductive interpretations of this is Narciso Rodriguez’s 2003 fragrance For Her. Newly available in a purse spray (4x15ml, £54), the scent’s musky heart is warmed up with amber, vanilla and patchouli.

Also try:

Tom Ford White Musk Collection, White Suede (50ml, £142)

3. The summer party

Scent profile: welcoming, joyful, light

If the mantra of a successful party is to eat, drink and be merry, a host who emanates warmth, cheer and a smidgen of edibleness surely can’t disappoint. Thankfully, the foody fragrances of SS15 seem to be eschewing the trend for super-sweetness in favour of something a little more refined.

Guerlain, for instance, has developed the delectably lovely Teazzurra (100ml, £45) – the latest addition to its Aqua Allegoria line. The fragrance is centred on green tea, which is softened by jasmine and given a sparkly freshness with top notes of bergamot.

Also try:

Annick Goutal L’Ile au Thé (100ml, £80)

4. The half marathon

Scent profile: energised, positive, uplifting

Hi-tech running shoes? Check. A playlist capable of propelling you to the moon? Check. Motivating fragrance? Yes, fragrance. Certain scents – particularly light, fruity and aquatic notes – can be powerfully energising mood-enhancers. A quick spritz can instantly bring a smile to your face and renewed vitality to your body.

One of the most effective is the zesty accord of Michael Kors Sporty Citrus (100ml, £63). With notes of mandarin and orange – both the blossom and the fruit – it is instantly uplifting, optimistic and invigorating; a sort of Lucozade for our sense of smell.

Also try:

Stella McCartney Eau de Toilette (50ml, £56)

5. The power lunch

Scent profile: strong, grown-up, chic

Not all flowers are delicate and fragile, so for women who like their pink hot and their heels ferocious, it’s worth testing out a fragrance crafted from strong floral notes. These are mainly white flowers like tuberose, orange blossom, gardenia and frangipani because they have a heady, almost narcotic quality to them.

For late spring, Tom Ford’s Fleur de Portofino (50ml, £142) – which is technically a unisex scent – is a beautiful white flower accord. The mix of gardenia, syringa, orange blossom and jasmine conveys strength and femininity in equal measure.

Also try:

Jo Malone London's limited edition Tuberose Angelica (100ml, £85)

By Fleur Fruzza