Farah Abassi is the kind of boss babe you’d want to have at a dinner party. The chief aromachologist at her own sensory branding company, Aroma360, Abassi’s day-to-day consists of creating signature scents for celebrities and brands, and consulting businesses on “scent marketing.”
You can ask Abassi things like: what does Adriana Lima smell like; what is it about the scents at Atlantis, Bahamas, that ensures vacations become fond memories; what tricks a nose into helping the brain decide to invest at the Ferrari dealership?
What makes Abassi’s scenting expertise a worthy investment in the eyes of supermodels, hotel groups, luxury car dealerships, and brands like Ritz-Carlton, Disney and Lexus? Abassi describes the foundation of her fragrance work as emotionally driven. “Out of all of our senses, our sense of smell has the strongest association with our memory and the emotional side of our brains,” she says. “It’s the only one of our senses that bypasses the cognitive part of our brain and goes straight to the limbic system, where all our memories are stored and where our emotions are triggered.”
Abassi says scent marketing has become a big trend in industries like retail, in which brands are doing what they can in competitive environments to connect with clients. To broadcast a scent inside a space, Abassi installs a unit in the HVAC system. She also sells candles and reed diffusers. “The sense of smell is a really great way to connect with clients on an emotional level,” she says. “[Aromachology] is really the connection between scent and the emotional response a certain scent can evoke.”
Aromatic connection reaches beyond the retail sphere. Abassi’s ability to harness the power of scent is what entices notables like NBA star Dwyane Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, to seek her out. Abassi created a signature scent for their home on North Bay Road in Miami Beach.
“It’s on the water and the color scheme [is a] light creamy color with a little bit of turquoise,” Abassi says. “So we made this very fresh, citrusbased scent, which was bergamot with ocean notes. It’s very fresh and goes with the space perfectly. It’s clean, and it just makes you feel like you’re in the ocean.” Other celebrity clients on her roster have included Lisa and Lenny Hochstein of “The Real Housewives of Miami,” basketball player Rony Seikaly, and Miami nightlife and hospitality entrepreneur David Grutman.
Without trying to score an invite to the Wade- Union residence, locals can instead head to the Hilton West Palm Beach, the Hyatt Place West Palm Beach or the Embassy Suites by Hilton Boca Raton to experience Abassi’s scent work in action. With Aroma360 offices now in Boca Raton, Saudi Arabia and New York—plus a Dubai office set to open in February— Abassi predicts continued interest and investment in the world of professional scenting.
Abassi’s fall collection is currently available. Her favorite? The mulled wine, which is “a deep wine-type scent with a little hint of citrus, a little hint of cinnamon, a little hint of nutmeg.” The winter collection will debut Nov. 1.
And by the way, if by chance you meet Brazilian actress and Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima, that sultry note you’ll pick up on is black tea. Abassi would know.