Guide to men’s fragrances

By: Salman Said

Image taken from: (Designer & Niche Fragrance Collection)

Many people love to keep up their hygiene to live up to high societal standards. If that’s bleaching your teeth white, using fake hair, or even getting surgery. Some may feel content with who they are but others want to change. Sometimes the drastic change people are looking for comes in a more simplistic form; the way we smell.

The way you smell is more important than you think. Human’s strongest sense is their sense of smell. It is 150,000 times stronger than sight, and people can detect over a trillion varying odors. Scents can also elicit vivid memories or intense emotions. Scents travel directly to the brain’s olfactory bulb, which is linked to the amygdala and hippocampus. The amygdala is the part of the brain that deals with our more intense emotions such as fear, rage, and even pleasure. The hippocampus, on the other hand, is the part of our brain that deals with memories. 

The way you smell can be the one-and-all for some people, and if you’re trying to make the best first impression, smelling good is one of the best ways to do so. It can trigger positive memories for some people and studies show that a woman’s sense of smell is much stronger than a man’s. In recent research in Europe, women tend to choose men who smell better in a first reaction stand point than any other factor.

Fragrances are measured in milliliters or ounces. The standard fragrance sizes are 1.7, 3.4, and 6.7 ounces (50, 100, and 200 milliliters are the alternative sizes). These are the sizes that most bottles come in. The concentration of the bottles is also specified. The amount of actual scent in the bottle is referred to as the concentration. The majority of the bottles are made up of alcohol and the actual fragrance. The duration and strength of the fragrance are determined by the amount of fragrance in the bottle. The longer it lasts, the higher the concentration. Eau Fraiche has the lowest concentration, with only 1-3 percent. Then it moves on to Eau De Toilette with a concentration of 5-15%, Eau De Parfum with a concentration of 15-20%, and finally Parfum with a concentration of 20-30%. These are going to be the main types and most fragrances come in EDT (Eau De Toilette) or EDP (Eau De Parfum).

Fragrances are classified by different brands and each brand is called a House. Popular Houses are Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel. Each house has fragrances and most likely their flankers. Flankers are just a different variation of a fragrance. The Dior Sauvage EDT and Dior Sauvage EDP are two different flankers of the Sauvage fragrance and both hail from the same house: Dior.

There are two types of houses. Designers and Niche. Designers are the popular ones mentioned before. Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, etc., but Niche are the more lesser known fragrances. Popular Niche fragrances are Creed Aventus and Mancera Red Tobacco. Niches aren’t as well known as designer houses, and tend to be higher quality and more expensive.

If you were looking for a safe and easy way to buy your fragrance you can do retail. Retail chains like Macy’s, Sephora, and Ultra all sell Designer fragrances at typically higher prices. But you get to smell, test, and buy your fragrances safely and efficiently, and of course, you get the highest quality all at the same place. For some, that peace of mind is worth the price.

But, if you’re not trying to spend more for your favorite fragrances you can shop at Discounters. Discounters are typically the same popular Designer and Niche fragrances but at a lower price. Discounters can be the only places people can purchase Niche fragrances since they aren’t popular enough houses to be sold at retailers. Discounters are cheaper because often they are imported from different countries that sell the same fragrance for different prices. Typically, houses import the fragrances to retailers, and the cost of shipping and handling is reflected in the price at retail. Discounters cut the middle-man and get the fragrances straight from the source. This results in cheaper fragrances, and more options. 

Fragrances have distinct smells and each fragrance is marketed for different settings. Dolce and Gabbana The One is a popular date night fragrances that smells like tobacco and amber. While Prada L’homme and Bleu de Chanel are summertime fragrances that are designed to smell fresh and even soapy. The difference between a date night, club, and seasonal fragrances can be detrimental. You don’t want to wear a highly concentrated soapy fragrance during a date where they are sitting so close to you. 

Fragrances are divided into three notes. The top note is usually the shortest to last. It’s the first thing you notice when you spray the fragrance, and it really sets the tone for the rest of the scent. The middle note, which lasts much longer (usually after the first hour) and is the main note that fragrances are intended to smell like. Finally, there is the fading note, which is the base note. After all of the other notes have broken down in your skin, the base note usually outlasts them and smells like a blending of everything else.

You should use fragrances on your heat points (wrist, neck, sides of your chest close to your armpits, and the insides of your elbows). This is how you get the most out of your sense of smell. When applying, simply spray it on the heat points and leave it alone. Don’t spray it on your clothes because it’ll stain them. Don’t rub your skin after applying; the notes in the fragrance will be destroyed and the smell will not last as long.

Lastly, don’t over-spray; after the top note, our noses become nose blind to the smell, and we don’t notice it at all because it can be so overpowering. Just because you can’t smell it doesn’t mean no one else can. Ask someone after applying, “Can you smell me?” If they don’t, apply more. If they do, don’t.

Tham Luang cave rescue

By: Mila Hart

Image taken from:
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On June 23, 2018, a soccer team made up of twelve boys aged eleven to sixteen and their twenty five year old coach, became trapped in the Tham Luang Nang Non cave in the Chiangmai Rai province in northern Thailand.

In mid July, the caves close because they flood due to the monsoon season. The boys entered the cave on June 23 thinking that they would not be at risk of getting trapped by rising waters.

It was not uncommon for the local kids to play and visit the cave when it wasn’t monsoon season. The boys thought they had more time before that season would begin, but they were unfortunately mistaken.

They became stranded in the caves after a sudden and continuous downpour blocked all exits. The rain would only get worse and worse because it was the beginning of the monsoon season. This means that if they did not find the boys as soon as possible then there would be no hope of getting them out.

After being missing for ten days, British divers found the missing boys perched on a rocky ledge. After being located the boys were joined by Thai navy seals and received food, water, blankets, and minor medical aid.

Once the boys were found, they had to act fast to get them out of the cave. Monsoon season would soon be hitting at full force and even though they’re were many engineers and volunteers working on pumping water out of the cave it would not be enough to stop the water from rising at extreme speeds.

The cave is a twisting, turning six mile complex of narrow passages. The boys were trapped two and a half miles into the cave, most of which was nearly completely underwater. When cave diving you are fully submerged in a narrow space and can’t see more than four inches in front of you because the water is dark and muddy. So, this meant that the only way to safely remove the boys was to sedate them so they wouldn’t panic, put them in special gear so they wouldn’t drown, and have them be guided out of the caves by professional cave divers.

Getting all of the boys out of the cave took three days. Three to four boys, plus their coach being removed from the cave each day. Once each of them made it out of the cave they were immediately put into ambulances and taken to the hospital.

All of the boys and the coach lived. The rescue effort involved over 100,000 people. These people were divers, many types of rescue workers, representatives from around 100 governmental agencies, police officers, and soldiers.

For more information, please see the documentary ‘The Rescue’ on Disney+

Book review on ‘The Year After You’

By: Lauren Kottke & Ella Sutherland

‘The Year After You’ by Nina de Pass, is a heartfelt story about a girl named Cara. She is learning to let people in, and love others as well as herself.

Summary (contains spoilers):
On New Year’s Eve last year, Cara and her best friend G, went to a party. At the party something happens that gets G really upset. She ends up very drunk and tries to drive home, but before she can, Cara takes the keys away and drives because she is sober.

While they are driving they get into a car crash and G ends up dying. Cara feels very strong survivor guilt because she was the one driving. For a while — almost a year— she shut herself out from everyone and lost most of the joy she got from being with G.

She starts attending a boarding school that her mom decided she should go to because she can see that she is not happy. When she first gets there a girl named Ren shows her around. Ren turns out to be her roommate and her first friend at the school.

Cara has a lot of trouble letting Ren in, or even considering Ren her friend, because she doesn’t want to replace G. Ren introduced Cara to her other friends, Fred and Hector. Immediately, she feels something different with Hector, but she keeps him at an arm’s length away.

She has so many walls built up that it is hard to see the real her. Ren and Hector know that something is wrong and they want to know what it is. They try to get her to open up and it takes a long long time, but eventually they figure out what happened.

For Cara it felt good to get it off her chest, except that wasn’t the full truth. The reason G had been so upset that night was because she had made things official with her boyfriend, and then later that night she saw him cheating on her with Cara. The guilt Cara felt was extreme and that is why it was so hard for her to open herself up.

Cara and Hector develop a more romantic relationship. He gets her like no one else does because he has his own problems. They become very close and that is when she finally tells him the whole truth. At first he is caught off guard, but then he realizes that she has changed and she truly does feel bad.

Our reviews:
Ella: I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was a very sad but amazing book. I loved Ren, she was my favorite character by far. I loved her energy and how nice she was to everyone. The romance between Hector and Cara really played out well in my opinion. I loved them together. I really liked how while she was finding friends, she was also finding herself. When she let these people in, she didn’t know it at the time, but it was a way of forgiving herself. Overall I give the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Lauren: This book was written really well. My favorite character was Ren as well. She had such an important role in getting Cara to be happy and find herself. Ren also had a very hard time, but she was always there for her friends and is just such a good person. I really loved the flashbacks to when Cara went to her old school, and G was still alive. It really made the connection to G stronger, which made the book even more sad. I give the book 4 out of 5 stars as well.

We both loved this book so much and we think you should definitely read it if you have a chance!

How does a student’s homework load affect their mental health?

By: Grace Blumer-Lamotte

Throughout a student’s high school years, freshman (9th), sophomore (10th), junior (11th), and senior (12th), they will experience some type of stress, whether it be physical or mental. It can also vary if they are experiencing other things outside of their academic life. 

Some ways that stress affects the brain is by shrinking the prefrontal cortex. According to Touro, “Chronic stress has a shrinking effect on the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning. While stress can shrink the prefrontal cortex, it can increase the size of the amygdala, which can make the brain more receptive to stress.” 

A few symptoms of stress to the human body include a headache (referring to the image provided), exhaustion, sleep deprivation, stomach problems, and weight loss. 

The grade that the student is in normally depends on the homework load. Every grade is different. All grades have important tests or other events going on. Especially juniors. Juniors commonly have to take the ACT during the year. 

When students get more homework, they are generally a lot more stressed out. At Highland, we currently have 7 classes a day: 4 core classes and 3 electives. If every class gives you homework, that is a lot of homework in one night for the student. 

I interviewed 4 students. One from each grade. I asked these questions:

  • How many hours do you spend on homework a night?
  • How does your homework load affect your mental health?

The freshman answered, “I usually spend an hour and a half or until I eat dinner. My homework load can affect my mental health greatly. I hardly ever have time to do anything I actually enjoy anymore. Whenever I procrastinate it gets even worse.” 

The sophomore answered, “I spend only around two hours on homework at night. Since I don’t have much homework, it doesn’t really bother my mental health.”

The junior answered, “I spend around two to three hours on homework if it is an easy night. If it is a hard night, I spend around four to five hours. The homework load destroys my mental health. On weekends, when I don’t have homework, I am extremely happy. But when I do have homework, I relate to the senior. I have no energy to do anything else afterwards.” 

The senior answered, “I spend no hours on homework. I finish most of it at school. But put into account that I also have 2 study hall hours. I’d say when I do have homework at home it’s the most draining thing ever. Once I am done, I have no energy to do anything else.”