5 Minutes with Linda Key, CEO at The Fragrance Foundation

By Lauren Carbran

Linda Key (9)Linda Key, CEO of The Fragrance Foundation, has a pretty incredible job. With an extensive career in the beauty industry, she now promotes and inspires people to enter the world of fragrance. To celebrate National Fragrance Day on 21 March 2017, we spoke to Linda to find out more…

Why is our sense of smell so important?

The science of smell is amazing. It goes through the limbic system, the most ancient and primitive part of the brain, which is thought to be the seat of emotion. Our reaction to scent is immediate and focuses on the emotional rather than the rational. There is a complex psychology to smell and the way it makes us feel. It can have an impact on our wellbeing and our mood.

What’s your best scent memory?

I’ve always adored flowers, and my grandad’s garden was just the best. He would grow his treasured pompom dahlias, and while these flowers are not really scented, I think it was the mix of the beautiful sweet peas with the raspberries and rhubarb, which he also grew, that I remember. It was like a blanket of colour and scent.

Has your fragrance taste changed or remained the same?

Oh, it’s definitely changed over the years. There have been some great fragrances I remember, from Estée Lauder Youth Dew, warm, captivating and rich, to the elegance of Lanvin Arpège, with its high floral notes of honeysuckle, jasmine and rose. Today I’m wearing Guerlain Mon Guerlain, a fresh oriental with its lavender and jasmine – a true winner from this house.

guerlain mon guerlainWhy is National Fragrance Day so important to you?

National Fragrance Day is an opportunity to drive consumers into store, raise awareness of the sense of smell, and encourage customers to create fragrance wardrobes. Fragrance should not be a quick spritz now and again. We should build up a personal library and use it in many different ways. It’s a means of personal expression. And National Fragrance Day is a time for giving and sharing fragrance, particularly in the run-up to Mother’s Day.

Why do you think it’s a good idea to update your fragrance wardrobe each season?

Fragrance plays such an important part in our lives. We should enjoy changing it as much as we enjoy updating our fashion and individual look. Fragrance finishes off your outfit, and you really shouldn’t leave your home without wearing it.

Which celebrity’s fragrance wardrobe would you like to take a peep at?

For sure this has to be Carrie Bradshaw (SJP). I’d love to know what fragrances she would put with those fabulous – albeit sometimes crazy – outfits.

As Mother’s Day is around the corner, we’re celebrating the special connection we all have to our mum’s scent. Can you describe yours?

When I was growing up, my mum used to wear Coty L’Aimant, a rich floral and timeless scent. It reminds me of happy days, when my mum used to spend hours teaching me how to sew and bake cakes – real mother-and-daughter times I remember and treasure.


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