The Fragrance Foundation UK



February 2018

Liz Swift

Sitting with my school friends in the back of my dads car absolutely drenched in CK Obsession – the smell still gets me every time – happy memories!


Sylvie Chantecaille

Usually each one of these fragrances corresponds to each memory. The Frangipane is a memory or a palace in India. The Tiare is a memory of Tahiti and the beaches bordered by wild flowers and trees. The Vetyver I created because I loved it so much on men- I wanted a version I could wear. I added fresh lemon to it so that it would be an energetic fresh fragrance with the warmth of vetyver on the bottom. Le Wild reminds me of the 1960s on the South of France and how my mother wore classic white fragrance. The flowers around my bedroom had that marvelous scent. Kalimantan is the dream of Borneo and the rich scent of the Orient—it’s a very sexy fragrance. It’s an amber fragrance. Apple baking is always for me the smell of home. Vetyver is my memory of my father and now of my husband. Jasmine is my childhood summers on the French Riviera. Gardenia is my first night life in Greece as a young woman.

Sylvie Chantecaille

Debbie Partridge

My earliest memory is when my father returned home from working overseas, he gave my mother a bottle of Chanel No 5. It was huge. I was about 9 years old, and my mum let me have a little bit to dab only on my wrists. She said it was special and I felt so grown up wearing it. When I see Chanel advertising it always takes me back to that moment during my childhood. It is still one of my favourites. The scent of rose, ylang ylang, lily a truly green and floral scent-sation!


David Walker-Smith

My fragrance memories spin around my Mum – the stories of the huge box of Chanel Number 5 that my Dad bought her for their engagement to Seeing the classic beautiful  Estée Lauder Youth Dew bottle on her dressing table when I was a child. The memories of smell and perfume last with you forever.

David Walker Smith

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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