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.
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