Elysia Agnew switches off and settles in for a scent styling masterclass with Jane Helliwell, founder of Champagne & Flamingos...

Never underestimate the power of scent. It wasn’t until I left the office for the day, turned my phone to silent and really sat back and settled in to the world of scentscaping, that I realised scents triggered so many powerful memories.

To kick things off and really get our senses working, the lovely Jane Helliwell, founder of luxury scent styling brand, Champagne & Flamingos, guides us through a blind aroma test. From freshly cut grass, to mint, roses and chocolate, each fragrance sparks a special memory.

For me, and I’m sure for many others, the smell of cut grass takes me back to my childhood – playing out without a care in the world. More vivid memories are brought to life with other scents; including lavender – taking me back to my grandmother’s garden, and crisp, clean linen taking me back to a beautiful holiday in the Caribbean.

Jane’s scentscaping journey started back in 2016 when her fascination with how such powerful emotions and memories can be triggered by perfumes, led her to delve into her passions in creating signature scents.

If something so simple like the smell of freshly-cut grass can spark so many fond memories, imagine how a signature scent – created for a special day such as a wedding – would make you feel?

This was exactly Jane’s thinking, and so the beautiful brand that we now know today as Champagne & Flamingos, was born.

Styling a home, a venue or an event with a scent is something so very special. It’s a reflection of your personality and can create a long-lasting impression for visitors and loved ones.

We’re at The Grand Hotel in York for a scent styling masterclass with the brains behind the business. The ballroom is beautifully adorned with candles and flowers as we settle in for a workshop in the power of aromas.

According to science, Jane tells us, there are eight smells that can make us feel happier: cut grass, baby powder, peppermint, citrus, sunscreen, flowers and rosemary.

If you’re like me, each one of those scents will spark a memory or will take you back to a moment in your life. You might just be really attracted to citrusy smells, or the smell of sunscreen may take you back to a stress-free time. Whatever the reasoning behind these ‘make you smile scents’, it really is something; and it’s important we celebrate our senses.

The power of scent can even be used as a marketing tool – and a very good one at that! Brands such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Nike and Costa, all use ‘scent olfactory marketing’ to put their brand in a prime position in the marketplace and create an enjoyable customer journey. Turning to sensory branding means all five senses are explored when creating a positive retail experience.

Not only do scents spark memories and make your home smell lovely, but when it comes to weddings and events, scents can be perfectly paired with food and wine.

“Flavours and notes can be picked up through taste and smell, and food and wine can be enjoyed even more with scent when paired well,” says Jane.

“For example, a full-bodied, oaky red tastes great with cedarwood, leather and fir needle. Pair with red meat and game and rich dark chocolate, and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

“When it comes to white wine, a medium-bodied sauvignon blanc tastes great with mint and green leaf. Pair with Asian seafood, grilled fish and herby, green salads, followed by milk chocolate.”

Taste and scent goes hand in hand. You can’t enjoy one without the other – and playing around with our senses can create something truly special.

Our scent styling masterclass takes us on a journey of blind aroma tests, cocktail-sipping and candle-making, before a luxurious lunch at the Grand Hotel’s Rise Restaurant.

As scents are the essence of the best memories, Jane has given herself the job of capturing emotions and creating memories through the art of scent styling.

Perfect for weddings – in everything from invitations to favours, church exits to first dance, bridesmaid gifts to food and drink pairings.

Jane is on hand to be part of your scent styling journey, every step of the way. Her packages include candles, diffusers, room atomisers and scented ceramics.

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