PERFUME, the final accessory that has completed the grooming routine for women for years, has now been shown to make them feel as well as smell good. Scent can like nothing else evoke memories of times and places because our sense of smell is directly linked to the part of the brain that controls moods, feelings and long-term memory. It is this link that gets noses twitching in the perfume industry, because research shows perfume can affect people's moods. Scientists have discovered the right perfume can lift your spirits, relax you, and even coax you into feeling more sensual and sexy. They are also experimenting with scents that contain pheromones, the natural chemicals people emanate that subconsciously promote sexual attraction. There is proof that the link between smell and mood is important: the Fragrance Research Foundation in New York has patented the name aromacology for the concept. In a study by a US fragrance company, panels of women were mood tested with five flower scents. The researchers concluded that different fragrances could soothe bad moods and heighten good ones. With this level of interest and investment already going into mood-enhancing fragrances, it will not be long before consumers can buy fragrances as tonics - and it is an alternative and much healthier pick-me-up than the traditional gin and tonic. The sudden interest in how scent can affect mood comes from the huge popularity of aromatherapy, a natural treatment that has been used to cure a variety of ailments since Egyptian times. It involves combining a specially mixed blend of aromatic plant oils with an oil that is then massaged on to the body, so that the recipient benefits not only from the massage, but also from the smell, and the oils that are absorbed by the skin. Perfume will never have as strong an effect as aromatherapy - but the obvious link is that fine fragrances are concocted from plant oils. However, there are only a few mood-enhancing fragrances on the market because the idea is new. Horizon for men, by Guy Laroche, is one of the first - and it only came about by accident. It was not created to be a mood-enhancing fragrance, and it was only when the makers realised what a positive effect it was having on people that it was tested by a psychologist and its relaxing and stress-reducing qualities were discovered. Horizon is a fresh scent, with top notes of mint mellowing out to a warm blend of lichen, moss and leathery notes. Yardley has provided a range of three mood-enhancing fragrances called Esprit Vital. They have at least double the concentration of pure plant oils than normal perfume. Elle Sensuelle is a soothing scent that contains calming jasmine and camomile, with warm base notes of sandalwood and vanilla. For an energy boost, there is Eau Energie, which contains ginseng, with refreshing citrus and green top notes. Eau Fraiche is a lighter freshening up scent, featuring extracts of hyssop and lovage, which are known for their stimulating properties, as well as lemon, mandarin and orange top notes. It is possible to experiment with ordinary perfumes, which also affect mood even though they have not been created for that purpose. For an outgoing and lively frame of mind, fresh and citrus fragrances such as Cristalle by Chanel, Wrappings by Clinique, and New West for Her by Aramis are suggested. In an introspective and quiet mood, look for notes of sandalwood and oriental, like Opium from Yves St Laurent, and Guess by George Marciano. If you feel business-like and need an extra boost, try spicy herbal fresh scents - they are the perfect match, and can be found in Miss Dior by Christian Dior and Mitsouko by Guerlian. For a refined and special mood, try L'Interdit by Givenchy or White Linen by Estee Lauder. When buying perfume, remember the scent you smell initially will wear off and be replaced by a more mellow fragrance. as the base notes come through, so test it out for a day before purchasing. Unfortunately, just because you have smelled a perfume on someone else and loved it, it does not mean it will smell the same on you. The type of skin we have affects the fragrance. Bear in mind that fragrance is diffused best on the warmest parts of your body - the pulse points - behind the ears and the knees, inside the elbows, and on the neck and cleavage. For a lighter scent, layer on the fragrance using scented soaps and body lotions. Remember, too, that perfume should be applied everywhere you expect to be kissed.