Front Range

Sniff Test

Olympic skier turned perfumer Michelle Roark says victory has a scent.

May 2014

—Image courtesy of Phia

Lavender helps you relax; grapefruit is energizing. Yogis and massage therapists have long used anecdotal evidence to exalt the power scent has on states of mind. Michelle Roark, a Colorado School of Mines–educated chemical engineer and former Olympic freestyle skier, is one of those believers. (She created her own scent to “get in the zone.”) But scientific proof has been elusive. So Roark built a machine to determine the electric energy of essential oils. Her findings, which are currently under peer review for possible publication in the Science Journal, show that essences thought to have analogous effects—say lavender and vanilla, both considered calming—also have similar vibrational
measurements. 

She’s bottled up that data in her new Phia line of all-natural salon and spa products featuring six “energy bouquets”—Adventure, Balance, Imagination, Confidence, Grounding, and Focus—each with pure essences that fall into the same vibrational ranges. Find your match at Roark’s Ballpark perfumery, Voilà. It may not turn you into an Olympian, but you’ll smell like one (in a good way). phialab.com