Am I French? Yes. Am I British? Yes. But what tells me my Proust madeleine? Many odours, fragrances and flavours from both countries.

On one side of the Channel, I have many memories of many spring and summer flowers such as lilac, wisterias, honeysuckle, lime tree but also the white flower called a Dama de noche, wallflower and roses from my grand-mother’s garden. It is also there that I discovered Eau Fraîche from Dior, Eau de Rochas and Eau Folle from Guy Laroche. I would smell on my grand mother the delicious perfume of Eau de Campagne from Sisley, a wonderful bloom of green and tomato leave notes.

On the British side of the Channel, Campbell tomato soup, mince pies, Digestive biscuit along with After Eight but also Elisabeth Arden’s Blue Grass handcream and the smell of Pear’s soap! Bluebell and Ostara from Penhaligon’s are my favourite english ones, as they echo my British Proust madeleine!Bettina-Aykroyd 1