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The Fragrance Foundation UK

#ScentMemories

Month

March 2017

Kate Crofton-Atkins, Founder of Cochine

When I moved to Saigon, I was charmed by its every day scenes, from side streets overflowing with Jasmine to lazy, sun-drenched afternoons on the banks of the Saigon River. It was the scent of Jasmine in the street where we lived in Saigon that first inspired me to create fragrances. It was unlike anything I had smelt before – rich and all encompassing, yet beautifully fresh. It’s called Champa Jasmine, a flower indigenous to Southern Vietnam, and is the key note of the first fragrance I created for Cochine, White Jasmine & Gardenia. Each time I smell this fragrance, I’m instantly transported back to our garden in Saigon where the scent of Jasmine filled the air.

KCA Bio Photo

Fabien Strawbridge, Creative Director at Aspects Beauty Company

The first time I came across Panorama by Olfactive Studio, I found myself overwhelmed with emotion. This penetrating zesty fragrance had somehow managed to transport me back to my 30th birthday. A day I’d achieved my lifetime goal of trekking across the Inca Trail, in Peru.

As a child, I’d learnt about this mystical place that was Machu Picchu, and had always wanted to retrace the steps by explorer Hiram Bingham. Twenty years later, for my 30th celebrations, the 4 day trek across the Andes mountains turned out to be the toughest challenge I’d ever attempted. Blood, sweat and tears were shed at almost 14,000 feet. At one stage, I needed emergency oxygen to get over Dead Woman’s Pass. On the last day, and at the break of light, the mist lifted and we found ourselves at the summit looking down on this wondrous site. I remember the smell. It was of oxygen, of greenery, of a rebirth. It was both fresh yet damp, it smelled like the promise of a new day. At this point, my knees buckled. I fell to the ground and started weeping from the immense sense of accomplishment. So too did my mates, with whom I’d been travelling around South America with. This was followed by the rest of our trekking group. It became ridiculous, the sight of 17 adults, all bubbling like children, while our trek leader ran around handing out tissues. Months later reflecting on it, did I realise how this had been a symbolic moment. It was about realising how small we are in this world and how insignificant we are in history. I blamed the exhaustion, but I also knew the tears were about how I’d overcome pain and self doubt, how I was leaving my twenties behind, and how I would have to embrace every challenge, as an adult.

Incredibly, Panorama – a small understated bottle with a modest label, from an obscure niche brand – had somehow managed to trigger an emotion from a distant place. That’s the sheer power of scent, right there. Even today, when I feel uninspired, a simple spray of it does the job of reminding me that “I can do this”. Bravo Céline Verleure for creating this fragrance that is reflective yet reviving, nostalgic yet empowering.

Fabien ScentMemories PANORAMA

Joanne Bell, Brand Development – Dew Gibbons & Partners

First: Lancome La Collection, Mille & Une Roses 
This is my third bottle of this niche fragrance, only available in Lâncome boutiques. I first bought it in 1999 as the limited edition, 2000 et Une Rose in a stunning teardrop shaped bottle, which I wore to a suitably hedonist masked ball for the Millennium. Long before rose rose to preeminence in fragrance, it took the flower and grounded it with all sorts of dirty notes like amber, black pepper and musk. Due to the price, it only comes out on special occasions when I feel like being a femme fatale, but it always takes me back to that hedonist era and puts me in the mood to (elegantly) party…
 
Second: Sleep Knot, 4160 Tuesdays. 
This fragrance is a lesson in being open minded and to revisit previously strongly held assumptions – a salutary lesson for life. Having long held that white flower fragrances were the work of the devil, a perfume workshop with fragrance maverick Sarah McCartney of indie house 4160 Tuesdays left me clutching a bottle of this heady jasmine that is softened and spiced with ylang ylang, sandalwood and black pepper. I wear it to conferences and anywhere I need to network and go in with an open mind. Proof if any were needed, that fragrance has the power to change mood and inspire.
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Stephan Matthews- Fragrance Writer

It’s strange how the space of a year can alter what you think of as your most important #ScentMemories. When I wrote about mine last year it was Je Reviens and petrol, it’s an intoxicating mix, but this year my memory is very different. I’ll be spending this year’s National Fragrance Day in Paris, pretending to work, but also meeting up with Sylvaine Delacourte who used to be Guerlain’s Director of Fragrance Evaluation and Development.

One of her most controversial collaborations, and still one of my top five Guerlain perfumes, was Insolence. It was launched the year I joined the company in 2006 and so holds many happy #ScentMemories of those nine years. Maurice Roucel created an iris and violet fragrance bomb which took the perfume world by storm. It was designed for the woman who “never needs to apologise”, and you couldn’t escape any beauty hall without being sprayed by the “overdosed, high-voltage” pink explosion.

Once smelled it could never be forgotten, and Luca Turin famously described it as managing to “antagonise everyone by lacking all social graces”. I know that Candy Perfume Boy will agree with me when I say that it is absolutely fabulous!! Long live Insolence!

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Nick Vaus – Partner + Creative Director at Dew Gibbons & Partners

I bought BYREDO Accord Oud in Liberty during a fragrance testing session. I’m not usually an ‘OUD’ person but when this touches your skin it transforms! – Just goes to show it’s better to try on your skin rather than on testers. It’s a complex scent – woody, spicy, and leathery – its warmth and depth remind me of beautiful trips to India and Morocco.

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Lyndsay Fletcher, PR & Communications Manager – Aspects Beauty Company

The smell of sun-kissed tomatoes on the vine transports me back instantly to childhood and to summer, being in a greenhouse surrounded by an intense and uniquely wonderful heady scent that is almost addictive: botanical, leafy, herbaceous, rich and earthy.

For me this scent symbolises instant sunshine and energy every time!

LF

Kevin Heasman, Finance at TALK PR

It’s quite simple really. A go-to button. An instant time-machine with a fast–return switch. Eternity, by Calvin Klein, who’s name is intrinsic to the emotions it stirs. The top twists and, before I’ve even splashed the subtle green-gold onto the palm of my hand, I’m there. August 14th, Orsett Hall. Surrounded by my boys, my past school friends from so many years passed school. We’re all laughing, wolfing down the sandwiches we’d snagged on the way to the venue. All fumbling with silken rouches and frock coats. This is it. The day. And, although I’m nervous, I’m not scared. The potential for the day to go wrong doesn’t even cross my mind. It won’t. I’ve only really got one thing to concentrate on. Just how gorgeous will my fiancé be as she stands next to me? As we both share those particular words in front of our friends, families, and loved ones. Then, there she is. Beautiful in ivory-gold. And, as the cool droplet hits my skin, and the aromatic flavours spin into the room, there she is again. Still beautiful, thirteen years later.

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Lauren Carbran- Editor, SCENTS blog

My best scent memory is when I first met my boyfriend (now my fiancé), on holiday. He was wearing Paco Rabanne 1 Million and I instantly fell in love with it. So now the scent reminds me of all our amazing moments together when our relationship started – we climbed up a mountain, hiked through stunning waterfalls and had our first lunch date overlooking a historic town. Now he wears it every day because he knows how much I love it (he loves it too, of course) and he even made sure he was wearing it when he proposed to me on top of a snow-capped mountain. I’ll be making sure that he wears it on our wedding day!

Lauren and Phil

Thomas Dunckley- Freelance Fragrance Writer & Trainer

My grandmother is somewhat of an eccentric. I have such vivid memories of her bursting through the back door of our childhood home, rushing into the kitchen in her headscarf and shouting “cooeee” to announce her arrival.  In the winter she would bring the cold in with her – the icy smell of harsh winter air would cling to her, although she herself felt impervious to such trivial things as the elements.  I would always greet her with a hug and I loved the smell of her waxed Barbour jacket.  It was metallic but soft and warm, accented by the smell of her perfume.  The smell always meant good things; hugs from Granny and if we were lucky: sweets!

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