Ski Champ Concocts 'Smell of Victory'

Michelle Roark loves the smell of rose oil in the morning
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2009 4:19 AM CDT
Michelle Roark poses during the Chevrolet Freestyle International World Cup at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Ski champ and chemical engineer Michelle Roark has put together a line of perfumes she insists can give athletes the winning edge. Roark, the 2009 US freestyle skiing champion, credits her scents like "Confidence"—which includes grapefruit oil and rose oil—with helping her succeed. Other scents include Focus, Balance, Adventure, and Imagination.

"It's not just mumbo-jumbo," says Roark, who mixes the perfumes herself. "There is a science behind it." Scientists agree that smells are strongly connected to emotions, but they caution that different smells affect different people in different ways, depending on what they associate with them. "The scent is an artifact of the expectation," one psychologist told the Wall Street Journal. "An athlete believes it's important to success, so therefore it is important."