Over 16 million American adults reported suffering from major depression in 2015, but doctors might still be prescribing electroshock therapy, water immersion, and lobotomies for treatment if not for the life-saving medical research that’s taken place over the past 50 years.
Thanks to significant (and seriously overdue) advancements in the mental health community, the stigma attached to what was once regarded as an incurable character flaw — or, perhaps worse, an imaginary problem — is slowly but surely fading away.
It’s fair to say that some of those crucial medical advancements couldn’t have been made without Audrey Gruss, who founded the Hope for Depression Research Foundation in 2006. Gruss launched the non-profit in memory of her mother, Hope, who struggled with mental illness for decades, and now, the longtime philanthropist is remembering her mother and giving back to the cause in an entirely new way: by launching a line of fragrances that will donate 100% of net profits directly to HDRF.
Launching in select Saks Fifth Avenue locations and at Saks.com on September 1st, Hope Fragrance is meant to be a pure, fresh, uplifting scent that encourages well-being and mind-body balance. “My mother loved white flowers and surrounded herself with them,” Gruss tells us. “The fragrance is so beautiful that it’s joyous, and lifts the senses.” She describes the scent as a combination of white flowers and a fresh green top note, like “nature after a light rain.”
The lush fragrance — which will be available as an eau de parfum ($115), a purse spray ($45), a hand and body cream ($40), and a scented candle ($30) — stands on its own, but it’s the message that matters most. By donating every cent to depression research, Gruss says, “[It] represents a humanitarian effort to address this major worldwide issue. Depression is a serious medical illness. It does not discriminate, and affects every race, creed, gender, education, and socioeconomic level.”
With fall on the way, you've probably been considering ditching your light, breezy florals for something warm and sweater-y — but with such an important cause to support, there's never been a better reason to break the seasonal-scent rules.
If you are experiencing depression and need support, please call the National Depressive/Manic-Depressive Association Hotline at 1-800-826-3632 or the Crisis Call Center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-775-784-8090.