Confidence In A Bottle. No, Literally.

And not just Rachel-Zoe-literally, either! This new perfume is designed to boost your sense of self:

It's the brain-child of Michelle Roark, the 2009 U.S. freestyle skiing champion (who, yes, also studies chemical engineering) who credits some of her success to a custom scent, yes, Confidence. ("Ego" was apparently already taken by the hundreds of celeb unguents flooding the agora.) She's also concocted Focus, Balance, Adventure, and Imagination. And while this may all seem more "snake" than "essential" oily, she's a true believer, telling the Wall Street Journal, "It's not just mumbo-jumbo...There is a science behind it."

You don't need to have studied Stanislavsky to know about scent memory, and scents like Roark's work on the same principle. As the WSJ explains,"scientific studies have shown that smell and emotion exist in the same network of neural structures known as the limbic system-an ancient core of the brain that dates to the beginning of human evolution." Otherwise known, yes, as "aromatherapy." And the problem, as killjoy scientists are quick to point out, is that everyone's associations are different: if a horrible relative always had grapefruit breath, that's not going to spell "energizing" as much as "nausea." I like the smell of Lysol disinfectant because it reminds me of my grandma, but I'm guessing this isn't a winning formula for "Comfort."

So, yeah, chances are Confidence's success is down to placebo effect. But so what? That's real, too. And it's always unwise, it seems, to overestimate the skepticism of the buying public. We want to believe! And a vial of perfume is a lot safer - and cheaper - than a vial of Beta-blockers. And clearly the manufacturer has faith in her product, which is a lot more than you can say for most snake-oil salesmen. The danger, of course, is in attempting freestyle skiing under the influence.

Can Perfume Make You a Winner?
[Wall Street Journal]