Audrey Butvay Gruss is Founder and Chairman of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF), which she established in 2006 in memory of her late mother Hope, who battled clinical depression for decades. HDRF’s mission is to fund pioneering international scientific research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and its related mood and other emotional disorders, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure. Resident Magazine sat down with Audrey Gruss to discuss the Hope for Depression Research Foundation and the lovely hope fragrance.
What lead to the purpose of this product?
I started the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) 11 years ago in memory of my mother Hope, who struggled with depression for decades. It was not a fault of hers; she had a medical illness that required treatment. With its renowned Depression Task Force of leading neuroscientists, HDRF is conducting the most advanced depression research in the US today. And it is much needed. The staggering statistics now are that depression is now the number one reason for disability worldwide. Each year, 20 million adults US have depression every year in the US. 350 million people struggle with it globally.
How did you create this product and connect it with the foundation?
With this medical reality, we wanted to raise additional funds to accelerate our breakthrough research. I created Hope Fragrance to provide a new avenue of resources for research and awareness. My mother Hope loved white flowers and surrounded herself with them. She especially loved the pure and distinctive essence of white flowers.
What inspires you?
I was inspired by this memory of my mother to create Hope fragrance in her honor. I worked with Firmenich, one of the top 3 fragrance developers in world. I worked with their highly acclaimed perfumer and “nose,” Honorine Blanc, who created some of the top fragrances in the industry. The fragrance we created is so beautiful, that it is joyous and lifts the senses. It is a combination of white flowers and a verdant note. The top note evokes the fresh green of nature after a light rain. The heart of the fragrance is a magnificent fusion of four white essences – gardenia, jasmine, lily of the valley and tuberose. Together, the fragrance is so distinctive and glorious that it lifts the senses.
What is the science behind it?
The beauty of the Hope fragrance stands on its own. The message is completely unique and charitable because 100% of net profit from retail saleswill go directly to depression research at HDRF. The consumer today is looking for ways to give back and will feel empowered by a product that goes completely to charity. Hope Fragrance represents a humanitarian effort to address this major worldwide issue.
Do you have any advice for people suffering with depression?
Depression is a serious medical illness. It does not discriminate and affects every race, creed, gender, education, socio- and economic level, level. It has no boundaries. If you have any of the symptoms of depression, it is so important that you talk to someone that you trust. Go to see your internist and they may send you to a mental health professional to give you the best treatment.
The following are the 10 symptoms of depression to look for:
Sad or crying unexpectedly
Anxious or irritable
Loss of interest, no sense of pleasure
Low energy, fatigue
Hopeless or helpless
Sleeping too much or too little
Loss of appetite or weight gain
Aches or pains with no clear physical cause
Thoughts of suicide
What is the mission?
The mission of the Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) is to fund cutting-edge, scientific research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and its related mood and other emotional disorders – bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety disorder and suicide.
On September 1st, the hope fragrance collection of four products will launch at select Saks 5th Avenue stores and saks.com