Clarins' new summer essence is called Eau Ensoleillante, which translates as "Sunnying Scent." Isn't that delightful??? I, for one, am all in favor of anything that can be considered "sunnying." It implies brightness and cheeriness of the highest order.
But what is it about this essence that gives it these solarial qualities? First of all, the liquid itself is orange-hued. The color orange is a tried-and-true mood-elevator.
Secondly, it has essential oils known for their uplifting qualities, particularly the citrus oils. (It also contains ylang-ylang, tonka bean and patchouli).
And finally, the essence contains extracts of soothing linden tree; griffonia, a precursor of serotonin; and vitamin-rich watermelon. Now, hold the phone! I must confess to being ignorant of griffonia altogether, let alone as a precursor of serotonin. But a little detective work (thank you, Wikipedia!) revealed the following:
- Serotonin (5HT) is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger in the brain) influencing many aspects of our health, including mood;
- SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), also known as winter depression, is a mood disorder;
- One possibility is that SAD is related to a shortage of serotonin;
- The small African bean, Griffonia simplicifolia, is thought to act as a precursor to serotonin. It supplies 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), an amino acid that easily crosses the blood-brain barrier where it converts to serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) in a natural process (source: Steven Schechter, N.D.)
The implication, of course, is that products containing griffonia can help raise serotonin levels, which in turn improve mood and thereby alleviate conditions of SAD.
medical disclaimer: Remember, I am not a medical doctor, nor do I play one on television. True, I am a dietitian, but that is another story.... For any medical questions or conditions, please check with your primary care professional!
Whether or not the Eau Ensoleillante has pharmacologically effective levels of griffonia is information I am not privy to. But the idea of adding pharmaceutically-helpful ingredients to fragrance is something I will be following with great interest. Meanwhile, I hope the Eau Ensoleillante smells as good as it looks!