A Synesthesiac’s Perfume Review

I love perfume and body sprays. For me, they elicit memories, feelings and even colours. I’ve been trying a few new perfumes this summer, but also sticking to some firm favourites. Here are some of my favourites at the moment:

 

Fijian Water Lotus Eau de Toilette

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This really is one of my favourite perfumes. It’s a lovely light, fresh daytime scent. It is the first aquatic-base perfume I’ve tried and it’s exactly the sort of smell I’ve been looking for. It smells so clean and has lovely crisp undertones of mandarin. Bearing in mind it contains extract of hand picked water lotus, I feel like it is quite the bargain.

Buy it here

Ghost Deep Night Eau de Toilette Spray

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I’ve been wearing this perfume since I was 16. It is a firm favourite. It is a powerful scent, which lasts a long time. The base is the exotic and fragrant flower -Indian Rose. The sweetness of Apricot and Peach is blended with base notes of White Woods and Vanilla to add warmth to the fragrance. It is slightly more of a deep and heady scent than I usually go for, but the sweetness balances this out. I definitely want to try more from the Ghost range. This perfume always reminds me of great memories of evenings out. A great evening scent.

Buy it here

Monsoon Rose Gold Eau De Parfum*

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This is a new perfume to me this summer and I am so glad I tried it! Usually I’m put off by muskier scents, as I feel they are too strong smelling or more suitable for a slighter more mature person, but this is a new favourite! It rivals very expensive perfumes on the market and never seems to fade. It has top notes of sparkling lemon and soft fruit.  Ozonic scents are layered with velvety rose, tuberose, neroli and cyclamen, and underpinned with base notes of Eastern woods, vanilla, mosses, musk and balsamic amber. It is such a deep and complex smell- it is very alluring. At first you are reminded of a rose garden, then you begin to smell the citrus tones. This is a definite winner for me. 

Buy it here

Gwen Stefani Harajuku Lovers Sunshine Cuties Eau de Toilette- G

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Oh man I wish they still made this. I have one open bottle and one still in it’s packaging which I’m saving for special occasions. This was my absolute favourite perfume. Maybe it’s because of the point in time I was wearing it, but it really does smell great too. It is really coconutty, but not sickly sweet. It reminds me of my first year of uni and always puts me in a good mood. This perfume also got me a lot of compliments and seemed to draw people in. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with coconuts!

I believe that it is similar to the other G perfumes, so I’ll definitely be trying that.

Buy it here

Accessorize Love Lily*

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Firstly, the bottle of this perfume is so lovely. It really looks good on your dresser. It reminds me so much of being a teenager and I don’t know why. It’s a really young fruity scent. It features notes of raspberry, orange, jasmine and sweet vanilla. I think this is a lovely perfume for teenagers, but it is a little bit sweet for me.  Nice for a bit of nostalgia though!

Buy it here

*products marked with asterisks were kindly given to me as PR samples from Sparkle PR

 

Synaesthesia and Me

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I’ve had synaethesia my whole life, but didn’t realise until I was about 15. I just thought everyone had the same kind of concepts in regards to senses as I did. I can’t imagine life without it, and I feel like I experience something really special. I don’t pick the colour or sensations I get, they just happen.

If you don’t know:

Synaesthesia is a condition where a sensation in one of the senses, such as hearing, triggers a sensation in another, such as taste. There are at least 80 different types of synaesthesia

For example, some people with synaesthesia can taste numbers or hear colours. Some people give personalities to days of the week or their emotions have colours. Read more about different types here.

A wide range of different synaesthetic experiences have been reported and recorded – a typical example is someone who described experiencing the colour red every time he heard the word “Monday”. You may have read about musicians who can hear colours. synesthetes are often very creative. Some artists to have reported having synaethesia are, David Hockney, Pharell Williams and Billy Joel.

What it’s like for me

I’ve read a lot about people hearing colours, which I do get but my strongest sense is smells triggering colours. I have always smelt colours and describe a smell to my friends as  specific colours. Generally, unpleasant smells evoke this horrible yellow colour which repulses me, whilst clean and pleasant smells evoke different blues (which is my favourite colour, because of this). I have an incredibly strong sense of smell and can often smells things most people can’t, so sometimes there can be a bit of a sensory overload for me.

Apparently, this form of synesthesia is very rare. I’d love to meet someone who also experiences this, because I find it fascinating and there isn’t a lot of literature on it.

Colours are also slightly tied up in emotions for me. When I first met my boyfriend I had a strong sense of blue towards him. Whereas people that I’m not so keen on are very orange. A loud annoying orange. This is also a rare one, typically of me. Some people’s personalities have colours, but not all.

When I look at letters, they have a sense of being ‘odd or even’. This also makes days of the week and months odd and even. I think this is related to the shape of the letters. The ones with more circular forms are even, whereas long thin letters are odd. I used to see colours for the different months, but I know longer has that sense. I also visualise time in a loop with dates going around it.

Different notes don’t have specific colours, but the sound an instrument produces does. For example the drums create a spectrum of greys. Not all instruments have colours though.

What’s the cause?

It’s likely that the brain of someone with synaesthesia is “wired” differently, or has extra connections.

brain imaging study has shown that when some people with synaesthesia hear spoken words, a part of their brain normally used to process colour from vision lights up.

Synaesthesia runs in families, although it may skip a generation and may not affect immediate relatives. It’s possible for only one twin to have the condition, or for family members to show different types of synaesthesia. In summary, there is a genetic contribution to synaesthesia, but the environment is also important.

I only know one other person with synaethesia and we aren’t related. No one, as far as I am aware has this in my family. Saying that, I’m the first known hypermobile and dyspraxic person and one of the only who is left handed….so I like to be special.

It’s possible for people to “grow out of” synaesthesia: there have been cases of people claiming that they used to experience synaesthesia, but no longer do. For a while I thought I had. It had dampened down a lot for me for a couple of years, but recently is has grown stronger again. Which I’m pleased about, because I would hate to lose it.

Is it common?

Synaesthesia has been estimated to affect at least 4% of the UK population.

Researchers at the University of Sussex have estimated that 1-2% of the UK population experience colour when they see, hear or think about letters and numbers, and that synaesthesia is just as common in women as in men (read the study).

Do you think you may have it? Let me know :)!

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