Thursday, March 01, 2007

Mood and Scent: Clarins Eau Ensoleillante

Clarins eau ensoleillante

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:

  1. Serotonin (5HT) is a neurotransmitter (chemical messenger in the brain) influencing many aspects of our health, including mood;

  2. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), also known as winter depression, is a mood disorder;

  3. One possibility is that SAD is related to a shortage of serotonin;

  4. 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!

Griffonia simplicifolia

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!
Clarins image and notes source: OsMoz
Griffonia image source:


Julia said...

It sounds a little weird doesn't it? I can't really see how a topical substance could affect the levels of serotonine? Do you have to drink this stuff?*roll-eye here* I do believe that aroma therapy can elevate your mood but this? Nah, I'm sceptical. I'd love to try it, sounds like a nice summer frag.

christine said...

Hi Julia,

LOL! Please let's agree not to drink the perfume!!! But you bring up an interesting point. While the amount of griffonia in the Eau Ensoleillante is probably negligible, it is a fact that some of what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream (eg, nicotine patches for people trying to give up smoking cigarettes). It makes me wonder about the potential help/harm of anything we apply to our skin, especially over time...

I, too, am a believer in the efficacy of aromatherapy. And based on scent alone, I agree with you that this does sound like a pleasant summer fragrance!

Thanks for writing!


perfume tester said...

There is not an ultimate advice because everyone interprets odors in their own way, and the same fragrance can smell

totally different considering type of skin, hair color, temperament and even the season of a year. There are important

nuances if you do not want to seem vulgar or lacking of taste.

perfume creed said...

Choosing the right perfume can be difficult and because it is also considered an intimate gift buying the wrong perfume

can backfire on you and get you the opposite result of that which you hoped for.

The first thing you need to do is do some homework, meaning research. Look at your lady's perfume bottles, the ones that

are nearly empty will be her favorites. If there is one there that is nearly full chances are she doesn't wear it often

or doesn't like it. Hint around and ask her what types of fragrances she likes and dislikes.

Humans are very sensory oriented and our sense of smell is no different. Certain perfumes can elicit strong reactions in

both the wearer and the person reacting to the scent. Perfumes are made not only to attract but to also relax someone. If

you aren't totally sure what kind of perfume to buy you can always play it safe and get something in the aromatherapy

line. If you go this route, bear in mind that vanilla scents are considered to relax and a peppermint or lemon scent will

be more stimulating.

christine said...

Hi Perfume Tester,

Yes, there is incredible variation in how one's chemistry reacts with fragrances as well as how one interprets that scent.

Thanks for writing!


christine said...

Hi Perfume Creed,

Thanks for the helpful tips!


Anonymous said...

I received a generous sampl from the Clarins counter at Galeries Laffayete in Paris and I can tell you that this fragrance has me hooked! I can't wait for it to be released for sale! I have been a long time devotee of Clarins' Eau Dynamisante (which definitely DOES lift my spirits and mood!)