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Abel’s new ‘functional fragrance’ designed for women experiencing perimenopause


Abel’s new ‘functional fragrance’ designed for women experiencing perimenopause

With the catchy label ‘functional fragrance’, a new category of perfumery is rapidly emerging.

The new releases explore the long-held idea that scent can do more for us than just please our olfactory senses. 

Our olfactory system, or sense of smell, is directly connected to the limbic system, a part of the brain that governs emotional processing, motivation, fear, and pleasure. That connection, proven by numerous studies that show we can be influenced by being exposed to certain notes, is increasingly being called upon by perfumers to incite wellness benefits, whether perceived or proven.

Research to show these benefits beyond doubt is ongoing with some promising studies, while new releases are beginning to arrive on shelves.

The latest is from New Zealand-based natural perfume brand Abel. Its new release, a buoyant, rich floral with a soft, woody base called Pause, is intended to ‘support hormonal harmony during perimenopause.’

Most women become menopausal – classified as more than 12 months after having your last period – between the ages of 45 and 60, but changes can begin to become apparent in the years preceding, known as perimenopause. The average age for menopause in NZ and Australia is 51-52.

Co-created by Abel Founder Frances Shoemack and French Perfumer Dr Fanny Grau, Pause is a response to their own journeys of hormonal change.

The pair say its disappointing society tends to only treat Perimenopause “as a signpost for being devoid of vitality,” and wanted to offer a bold and positive focus in response.

Perfumes are often describes as ‘feel good’, generally referring to bright and pretty notes, and that’s certainly the case with Pause, but Shoemack and Grau spent time looking at research around other properties of the botanical extracts and essential oils used to create the perfume.

The star of the scent is mimosa, a bobbly yellow bloom that research indicates may offer mood-stabilising properties. The pair say narcissus also features for its ability to support sleep, violet leaf is said to aid in stress reduction and hay ‘promotes tranquility’.

The vibrant bottle design and the scent inside were carefully considered in order to bring confidence and sophistication to this stage of womanhood.

“The inspiration for Pause was very clear to me, ” explains perfumer Grau. “It’s an ode to the wise women of the world. Mimosa, the hero ingredient, is a comforting, mesmerising scent which to me really represents strength and beauty. Even for those not nearing this chapter, Pause is a sophisticated, rich floral which will resonate beyond its feel-good properties.”

Abel founder Shoemack confirms the inspiration for Pause came during the realisation alongside Grau that there is not enough conversation around this transitional period, despite it being a normal part of life. 

[We] realised none of our girlfriends talked about, or felt prepared to enter this transitional period, we knew Pause needed to do more than smell amazing. It had to empower and reflect the strong women we knew would want to be part of a new dialogue around perimenopause.

The new launch is supported with a collection of resources listed on the Abel website for women to better understand and feel prepared for perimenopause before it happens.

Read more: Menopausal? Here are the skincare and treatments to consider


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