Research released this year reveals two-thirds of Australians wish they could do more than take photos to remember their holidays.
Commissioned on behalf of Cathay Pacific Australia, the study shows over three quarters of Australians believe we are in real danger of losing our holiday memories, despite the standard Aussie traveller snapping an average 33 pictures a day.
The growing ‘snap & dash’ culture means thousands of Aussies are spending too much time capturing and revisiting their holiday through a screen while neglecting their other senses, including their most powerful – the sense of smell.
“Not only is smell our oldest sense, it also has a direct link to the hippocampus – the main memory centre of the brain. Scent can therefore bring back memories much faster and stronger than any of our other senses,” says Dr Oliver Baumann, Researcher at Queensland Brain Institute.
In light of this research, Cathay Pacific produced a scientifically crafted perfume called Parfums de Voyage, capturing the unique scent of Hong Kong.
The fragrance was designed in collaboration with renowned perfume expert Samantha Taylor of The Powder Room, who travelled around Hong Kong to get inspiration for her design of the scent.
“I keep a scent journal and carry it in my bag wherever I go and write notes of the smells I encounter,” she explained.
“When I am creating a fragrance for a client, I will visit the place or immerse myself in their world.
“For a fashion designer I will look at their clothing and get to know them a little, if it is for a place, then I will visit and absorb everything that I can.
“All of the little details inspire the final perfume.”
The resulting Parfums de Voyage fragrance has a fresh, clean top note inspired by the greenery of the island, drying down to a warm, peppery base note that’s evocative of exotic spices and smoky incense.
Samantha explained that using our sense of smell elicits an uncensored response, with the ability to transport you back in time.
“Our sense of smell protects us from dangerous environments and food that we shouldn’t eat, so smelling the space around you is something we do instinctively,” she says..
“I often hear travellers say they know they have landed in a particular destination when they have stepped off the plane and breathe in the local air.”
Cathay Pacific’s South West Pacific General Manager Rakesh Raicar says the company is always looking for meaningful ways to enhance their customers’ travel experiences.
“Parfums de Voyage is a sensory souvenir we can give to our passengers to help them remember those special memories and moments they experience when they are travelling with us.”
But while Parfums de Voyage captures the popular scents of Hong Kong, Samantha says the scent of beaches is one of the country’s underrated aromas.
“The scent of the beach is something that people don’t always associate with Hong Kong,” she said.
“I remember when a friend took me to a beach I was astonished, I had never considered that there were beautiful beaches near such a city.”
“Like most people, I thought of Hong Kong as a bustling metropolis, and completely forgot I am actually in Southeast Asia.”
In regards to the aromas of Australia, Samantha has already got it covered if she were asked to create a perfume for the land down under.
“Australia has some beautiful botanicals so I would ensure that notes such as white Cyprus, Kunzia and West Australian sandalwood are used,” she says.
“It would, of course, have beach elements to reflect our laid back Aussie attitude, something green for the forests and bush and something dry and interesting for the outback.”
But for her perfume of Hong Kong, the perfume expert says Cathay Pacific understands the importance and transformative powers of scent.
“As scent and memory are intrinsically linked, I think it is wonderful that Cathay Pacific are giving their customers a unique, scented souvenir from Hong Kong,” she says.
“Parfums de Voyage scent is an extension on their willingness to give passengers the best possible trip and experience.”
Parfums de Voyage is available from October 2017 on select Cathay Pacific flights.
For more information, visit cathaypacific.com.au.