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The Fragrance Foundation UK

#ScentMemories

Month

February 2018

Jolene Rayment

My favourite fragrance memory was when I smelt flower bomb for the first time at the 2005 launch – I was 29 and had just got started to get my beauty career off the ground. I saved up to buy one and it symbolised hard work success and my first taste of luxury and I still wear it now!

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Lizzie Ostrom

When I was tiny, my mum used to play a game involving a wooden box. She’d get me to open it – it would be empty. Then she’d spin around and ask me to tap the box while saying a spell, and then on opening again, there would be a box of Sun Maid raisins. I didn’t even know what sweets were yet, so this was the height of indulgence.   I was OBSESSED with the damsel on the front holding her basket of grapes, and was desperate to know about her life in California – wherever that was. Most importantly: would she be my friend? I relished the moment of opening the box and smelling the sticky mass of fruit inside, that molassesey, resinous smell that reminds me of sunsets and skin in very hot climates. Even now I think I prefer the scent of a clump of compressed raisins to their taste, and there’s something about those cardboard boxes that teases it out. Sadly I never met the Sun Maid lady.

Headshot - Lizzie Ostrom

Katie Puckrik

Once upon a time, way before flying cars in outer space, matcha green tea doughnuts, and unsolicited nudity on dating apps, there were dittos. Dittos were the high tech version of carbon copies, the low tech version of photocopies, and what every no tech schoolkid in the 60s and 70s took their pop quizzes on.

The ditto was created by making a master copy on a “spirit carbon”, which was transferred to a hand-rotated printing cylinder. From the original document the teacher would crank out multiple copies, which remained fascinatingly cold and moist when they were handed out to the class. The uncanniness of the clammy paper was enhanced by the very particular soft, blurred purple of the print.

But the thing every member of the Ditto Generation treasured was the smell, courtesy of the machine’s duplicating fluid. We breathed deep of the scent of newborn ditto like it was fresh-baked cookies, or a bracing ocean breeze, or life-giving oxygen. But it wasn’t life-giving oxygen. It was methanol and isopropanol, and we were frying our brains.

But safety, schmafety. Dittos smelled good! The odor was sharp, damp, clarifying. It was moreish – you were compelled to keep huffing the wet paper until it finally dried and lost its magic. The narcotic nature of the ditto fluid (too much exposure resulted in dizziness and blurred vision) meant that it automatically heightened the drama of any situation – which usually involved taking a test.

This eerie, searing smell was a perfect pairing with the adrenalin and fear triggered by a pop quiz. The smell of dittos was the smell of the obsidian knife edge between triumph and failure.

And everyone agreed that dittos smelled “purple”.

Headshot - Katie Puckrik

Kate Stephans

It was 1994. Kate had met Johnny, Nirvana was Unplugged and a certain Mrs Mia Wallace – black-bobbed and rocking Chanel Rouge Noir – had hit the dance floor at Jack Rabbit Slims. This was the backdrop to my mid-teens and it was right then, bang in the middle of those formative years, that CK One – Calvin Klein’s unisex fragrance – hit the scene. It remains, to this day, my most vivid scent memory. It was seminal. I don’t wear it now – it’s too much of the time for me. But I think it will remain my most treasured scent moment forever.

Headshot Katie Stephens

Stacey Barnes

Moschino Cheap Chic – reminds me of my last moments with my Nan. It brings a comfort feeling when I miss her.

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Bernie Grace

My scent memory is Paloma Picasso and when my now husband proposed to me in Bankok. We have now been married for 22 years and to this day when I smell it, it transforms me.Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 13.27.00.png

Sharlene Hegarty

My husband has been buying me Chanel No.5 for 20 years… It will always remind me of him (I ran out of it in the summer!). Both my lovely Nannies wore lovely scents too, Coty L’aimant & a sweet violet one in a little round bottle, always used to pinch a drop! And my dad always wore Brut (only the glass bottle one) he’s been gone 30 years on the 25th 😢. It’s Youth Dew that reminds me of my mum when I was small, she now wears Coco Mademoiselle 😁🌹🥀Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 16.41.51

Donna Taylor

My very 1st grown up fragrance was Poison by Christian Dior – I was 17 years old (Poison is 25) and just like the perfume itself – I was madly, heady and intoxicated in love, with someone who’d I spend the next 12 years of my life with… sadly (or so at the time) the relationship itself was ‘poisoned’ and didn’t last!!

Some of the notes from Poison I’m still drawn to in my perfumes today like Vanilla, Rose and Amber

The scent of ‘Mitsouko’ by Guerlain takes me back to time when I was really young, maybe I was about 10 years old – I remember my Mum using this as she was getting all dressed up for her ‘date night’ with my Dad, whenever I smell this it takes me right back to her getting ready in their bedroom and it was always the last thing she applied before leaving the house.

Donna

Kate Lord Brown

We lived in the orange groves of Valencia for three years, and my first child was born there. At certain times of the year when the trees blossomed, everywhere smelt heavenly: neroli in the fields, saffron and woodsmoke on the air, rich incense in the churches, the fresh smell of eau de cologne and jasmine as people took their evening walk in the village. Annick Goutal’s Eau du Sud and Diptyque’s Philosykos remind me of this –  golden sunlight glinting on water, a warm breeze in your hair. It’s a feeling of contentment – an elemental sense of being at home in the world and your skin. They are ‘my’ perfumes – and I still grow orange and lemon trees on the kitchen windowsill, and burn Jo Malone’s Orange Blossom candles at home to conjure up this magical time.

klb scent

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