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How SA-born fragrance expert helps Covid long-haulers fix loss of smell

7 May 2021 5:17 PM
Tags:
perfume
covid
loss of smell
Sense of smell

Sue Phillips is helping patients to find their sense of smell again using the tools she works with every day, perfumes.

Many people may have experienced or heard, that one of the side effects of Covid-19 can be the loss of one’s sense of smell, says Pippa Hudson.

Some get it back quite rapidly, but for others, particularly those struggling with Long Covid, it can take weeks and even months to return. And who wants to face a morning without being able to smell the coffee?

Pippa Hudson, Presenter - CapeTalk

A South African-born expert is helping patients to find their sense of smell again using the tools she works with every day – perfumes.

Born in South Africa, Sue Phillips moved to the USA to pursue her acting career after studying drama at UCT.

She ended up working at Elizabeth Arden, and went on to found Scenterprises, a sought-after perfume house that has created scents for chains like Tiffanys and Lancome, and also for individual celebrities including Katie Holmes, Jamie Foxx, Laurence Fishburne, and Susan Sarandon, explains Pippa.

I've always known that the most powerful sense that we have is our sense of smell. Our strongest is our sense of sight.

Sue Phillips, CEO - Scenterprises

She's been in the fragrance industry for 43 years and says she has always understood that sense of smell is closely linked to the sense of taste.

Sue says in doing research for a media interview to understand the impact of Covid on this sense, she met with a woman who had lost her sense of smell for 13 months due to the virus.

I took her on my sense journey.

Sue Phillips, CEO - Scenterprises

Perfumes are a complex mix of top, middle, and base notes. But while the woman was not able to identify the lighter top notes of scents but was able to connect with the deeper more robust notes, explains Sue.

Suddenly we had a breakthrough and she was quite emotional. She finally said, and she was crying, she said, oh my goodness, I can finally smell something beautiful.

Sue Phillips, CEO - Scenterprises

That was really the start of it and it has been snowballing ever since.

Sue Phillips, CEO - Scenterprises

What is so amazing is that it is almost like a fog is lifting. It is like window blinds suddenly lifting.

Sue Phillips, CEO - Scenterprises

She says as they progress more and more notes can be smelled and it is a very emotional experience and different people identify different scents to unlock this door.

Sue offers Zoom sessions and is creating scent kits she can send to people.

I just want to qualify I am not a doctor, I am not a scientist, I am not a chemist. I do know the power of fragrance. But there are no guarantees.

Sue Phillips, CEO - Scenterprises

Listen to the interview below:




7 May 2021 5:17 PM
Tags:
perfume
covid
loss of smell
Sense of smell

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