I read an article a few weeks ago that said many studies have shown that scent is very strongly linked to memory.
From borrowing your mum’s fragrance, to the very first one you bought for yourself. What you wore to your graduation, or on your wedding day. But it isn’t just fragrance, but also smell that brings-out a strong nostalgia in people. Fragrance and smell play a bigger part in all of our lives than I think we imagine. I know my own smell and fragrance memories are very strong.
This got me thinking… What does fragrance mean to other women, and how does it impact on their memories? I asked some of my favourite beautiful people to tell me about their lives, in fragrance.
There will be series of these “My Life In Fragrance” posts put-up over the next few weeks.
To start the ball rolling, I answered my own questions about fragrance…
What is your earliest fragrance memory?
I remember my mum’s Yves Saint Laurent Opium from when I was little. I remember the opulent box, and the bottle had a very elaborate tassle, which I thought was the chicest thing on earth! She doesn’t wear it very often now, but she still loves the smell because it reminds her of her time living in Borneo.
What was your first fragrance?
Revoltingly, it was Revlon Fire & Ice Silver. It really isn’t a bad smell at all, but in Middle School I used industrial amounts of it every day, so can’t bear the smell of it now. My first ‘proper’ fragrance was Gucci Envy. I’m still devastated it’s no longer available.
What is your favourite everyday fragrance? Why?
I never use the same fragrance two days in a row. Testing fragrances is one of my favourite parts of my job. I actually counted my collection for this post, and I have over 30 in rotation. I only ever choose a scent according to my mood.
But having said that, if I can’t decide what fragrance I’m in the mood for I always settle for a spritz of Crabtree & Evelyn’s West Indian Lime Cologne. Yes, I know it’s an old man’s fragrance (Prince Charles wears it), but I just love the exotic notes. And being a man’s scent, it’s exotic without being sickly sweet.
What is your special occasion fragrance? Why?
I don’t have one per say, but I do tend to opt for stronger scents for big occasions. My current favourites are Swarovski Aura, Elie Saab, Burberry Body and Gucci Guilty.
Have you found your ‘signature’ scent? What makes it so special to you?
My friends would say that Stella by Stella McCartney is my signature scent, and it used to be. But it’s actually evolved into being anything with a rose base. I love the rose scent because it reminds me of my grandparents’ garden in England. My granddad had very green fingers, and his garden was incredible. I remember celebrating my 4th birthday in that garden, and his roses were in bloom, so I have very happy rose memories.
Stella Nude, Carolina Herrera 212 Sexy, D&G Rose The One and Bvlgari Rose Essentielle are now stable mates to my original Stella.
What is your best fragrance memory?
My best memory is not a fragrance one, but a smell. I remember the smell of my dad. He is a Captain in the merchant navy, and was away for months at a time when I was little. I was always so excited to see him when he came home and I remember him smelling of cigarette smoke, oilskins (water-proof over-alls) and leather. He still smells like that today.
Is there a fragrance that you love the smell of, but it just smells horrid on your skin?
My sister smells incredible when she wears any of the Dior Poison fragrances, and I wish they’d smell that way on me. But unfortunately when I wear them, it smells like a cat has sprayed on me!