Where do you begin when choosing a fragrance? Maybe youâ€™re seeking something fresh, citrus-driven, and natural at first hit; perhaps you want a heady, carnal scent, the type of smoky, hedonistic allure thatâ€™s become almost synonymous with Tom Fordâ€™s opulent range. Then there are boutique scents like Patrick Kellyâ€™s Sigil, which take on an almost spiritual quality, embodying place, energy, and experience. The process of selection is personalâ€”perhaps more so than any other category in beauty.
Lately though, a new perspective on scents is taking shape that is less about top notes, identity, or even raw and synthetic ingredients, and focused more on function. Enter The Nue Co., a fragrance brand that launched with the release of its perfume Forest Lungsâ€”a tart, woodsy fragrance promising lower stressâ€” and Functional Fragrance, which pledges to help reset your mind during times of intense anxiety. The Nue Co.â€™s latest scent is Mind Energy, a peppery, velvety aroma developing buzz for its ability to boost mental energy and focus. The companyâ€™s own clinical research suggests noticeable improvements in productivity and alertness after 30 days of use.
Will we be replacing mid-afternoon coffee with a spritz of fragrance, or reaching for Nueâ€™s cherry-red bottle in the hours before deadlines? Four editors tested The Nue Co.â€™s Mind Energy, and gave their honest opinions.
Ashley W. Simpson
Whatâ€™s your typical approach to fragrance?
My approach to fragrance has always been quite intuitiveâ€”about as far from analytical as you can get. I alternate between layered androgynous scents (anything Byredo or Commes des GarÃ§ons) and fragrances that remind me of home (Tom Fordâ€™s Soleil Brulant). Iâ€™ve rarely thought about function or anything like alertness or productively when selecting a perfume.
Describe your experience using the Mind Energy scent.
The fragrance arrived at the perfect time. I was on my way home from Europe to Honolulu for the holidays, and ready to tackle what is always epic jet lag using any tools available. I was in a total haze, on multiple deadlines, and generally awake at all the times I was supposed to be asleep and half-asleep during waking hours. I have to say, I think it worked. It has a fresh, assertive scent that hits you with a wave then slowly envelops you, softening with time. In terms of effect, Iâ€™d say itâ€™s less a strong cup of coffee than a subtle breeze of alertness. Even if itâ€™s 100 percent the placebo effect, Iâ€™ll take it. I used Mind Energy once I was getting going in the mornings, usually just as I started working and needed an extra boost. I do think it would be worth integrating into a routine, as an added layer when your energy is low.
Beyond its effect on mental alertness and productivity, did you like the scent?
This is where Iâ€™m a bit torn. Scent is such a personal thing and I tend to go for headier, less citrus-y options. It smelled almost clinical on me at first, giving way to a warmer, woodsier clove aroma. I canâ€™t see myself using this for the scent alone.
Iâ€™ve found myself reaching for Mind Energy on long days. I also tried it when I had a cold. I definitely would recommend it for a minor boost, and if you are drawn to fresh, peppery scents, it may be ideal.
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