By Saddie Tomlin


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There are few things less suitable for the human body than a coach class airplane seat – the dog carrying cage and the drying machine. That’s about it. Airplane seats, you see, are uniquely engineered as advertisements for first class. One way to save your sanity while strapped to a pleather plank, hurtling five 500 miles per hour above ground, is to mark your territory; or, in more sensible words, to define your space.

The diplomatic way to do this is not to stake an elbow on the armrest, but to spritz a well-appointed scent to your clavicle. The wrist is too far away, while the perfume on the neck may be suffocating in such a small space.

Here are some scented antidotes for airplane-induced ailments.

Grievance: The person next to you sneezes, wheezes, and coughs (he just stuffed a Kleenex heavy with pour into the seat pocket).
The Fix: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet

This is a man’s perfume. A duke’s perfume! The William Penhaligon who gives the fragrance its name, invented the scent in 1902 specially for the Duke of Marlborough – the very reason why its aristocratic scent smells sexy on women. With its clean head notes of lemon, lime, and lavender, and its warm base of pine, musk, and black pepper, Blenheim Bouquet will ward off the indiscriminate appetites of illness. Black pepper, after all, almost cured the Bubonic plague.

Available at

Grievance: Plain Ol’ Fear of Flying
The Fix: Kai

Kai’s blend of oils from tropical white flowers (think: gardenia, jasmine, lily) is transfixing and transcendent. When you wear Kai it’s difficult to focus on anything other than how lovely you smell. Your mind skips all the scenarios that made you nervous in the first place; you won’t be wonder whether 3E or 27C is the best choice against turbulence. Kai smoothes anxiety, as it is absolutely intoxicating.

Available at

Grievance: The baby won’t stop crying until it’s 18-years-old, if ever
The Fix: Lavanila’s Pure Vanilla

Lavanila’s Pure Vanilla eau de parfum isn’t just vanilla. It has notes of freesia, patchouli, heliotrope, and tonka bean (which is like vanilla, but its pods are slightly more accessible and spicier). The combination of notes makes it pure at heart. The soothing, sweet, warm, and almost powdery scent might not shush the baby, but it can help you pretend you’re too sweet to snap.

Grievance: The re-re-re-re-circulated air makes you feel dirty
The Fix: Gucci Envy

Gucci Envy is a modern vine scent sold in the most fluorescent-lit setting. It’s a delicious Duty- Free staple, perfect for last minute snatching. Hyacinth, magnolia, lily of the valley, jasmine, violet, and iris definitively slice through airplane stuffiness.

Available at Fine Department Stores and

Grievance: The sheer indignity of it all: the seats, buy your food, the B-movies (if you’re lucky).
The Fix: Guerlain Champs Elysées

Champs Elysées is like a mod mini-dress – short but refined; not young, but youthful. One of the lightest fragrances from the intense Parisian house, Guerlain; Champs Elysées was reorchestrated in 1996. Rose petals lend quiet dignity, while almond blossom soothe. The curiously bashful mimosa leaves, which cower upon touch, provide an enchanting top note that’s complimented by tart cassis berry, creating a smell that elicits composure.

Available at Bergdorf Goodman and

Originally published December 2009



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