How Perfume Turned My Pain Into Purpose

Get High on Happy Smells

Mood Honey

“Looking across the square at the chocolaterie… and my mouth fills at the memory of its perfume, like cream and marshmallow and burnt sugar and the heady mingling of cognac and fresh-ground cocoa beans. It is the scent of a woman's hair, just where the nape of joins the skull's tender hollow, the scent of ripe apricots in the sun, of warm brioche and cinnamon rolls, lemon tea and lily of the valley.” ~ Joanne Harris, Chocolat 

Your sense of smell is the unsung hero, and villain, of your emotional life. 

Take a moment. Relax. Now, bring your memory to the smell of your grandmother’s kitchen – is it vanilla? Think about the smell of your mom’s neck while she holds you – is like sun-kissed flowers with hints of soap? What about a hospital room – is it astringent, laced with fake lemon? How do those moments make you feel?

According to the 2019 Global Wellness Report “75% of the emotions we generate on a daily basis are affected by smell and, because of this, it is believed we are 100 times more likely to remember something we smell over something we touch.”

I believe it. 

In 2014 I was diagnosed with post-partum depression, and it was hell that I’m only able to admit the depth of six years later. I was a grateful patient of the Women’s College Hospital Mental Health program; with individual and group therapy for nearly four years. Part of the therapy included a module on simple self-care, like going outside to breathe fresh air.  As a smell-loving person, I realized that giving myself simple “smelling breaks” was sometimes exactly all I needed to get a bump of enough positive emotion to keep moving forward. I knew that real citrus smells were shown to give a measurable mood-boost, that lasted up to thirty minutes.

I needed to run with this. Don’t we all deserve to savour the wholesome pleasure of smells? Getting “high” on happy smells became a fascination and a passion – and eventually a purpose. Using my past experience in the perfume industry, combined with my psychology degree and communications background I began to create, and test, and build my own line of natural botanical perfumes. I had some serious ground rules:

  • The perfumes had to be all-natural: the chemicals in traditional fragrance are cancer-causing hormone disruptors and we just don’t have time for that crap in mom-life;
  • The perfumes needed to be plant-based: no low-vibe animal cruelty, like using civet musk (a glandular secretion from a rare, captive, cat) as an ingredient. Gag;
  • The perfumes needed to be of the highest quality: If I’m encouraging people to ditch the perfumes they’ve been wearing – and creating an emotional connection with – for years, this stuff better be as good or better than their Chanel;
  • These perfumes needed to give back: I had been a mental health ambassador for Women’s College Hospital during my time as a patient, and I wanted to continue to support them and turn my pain into my purpose.

Hundreds of trial vials of perfume and nearly a year of development later, I birthed my fourth child: MOOD HONEY botanical perfumes. As one customer said, “These are NOT your basic b*tch perfumes!” Seven incredible fragrances that exceed my wildest expectations in terms of ethics and quality. With $1 of every perfume sold going to the Women’s College Hospital Mental Health Program, I know I’ve created something that makes you feel good AND does good. 

How do you know which of the seven MOOD HONEY fragrances is your new mood-sweetening smell?


So, stop and smell the roses. And the vanilla. And the lemon. And the lavender. And definitely smell the chocolate.  Then apply them liberally to your pulse points, and be that woman who can’t get enough of her own scent.  Get high on some happy smells, and sweeten your mood naturally, today. 


Dawn’s middle name is Rebel. Actually. So take that, mess and clutter.

She is a recovering political staffer, former teacher, dance-party-for-one enthusiast, devoted wife, and mother to Wish (Canada’s future Prime Minister).

Her mission is to create an orderly, sanitary, organized, clutter-free nest so that everyone in the family — including her — can actually enjoy life. For Dawn being organized means that when life throws you curveballs (oh, it will), you can bounce back faster. Get started, stay on top of it, then get ahead.