Having grown up in a Mediterranean household, I have always been surrounded by floral and citrusy scents from a very young age, worn by my mother and my paternal grandmother. I was a very curious child, keen to know more about our planet and Mother Nature. I got interested in flowers and gardens from the age of 5 and roses became one of my favourites. Among all the different types of flowers that exist, roses have this subtle elegant smell and are for me, one of the true essences of femininity. Roses completely unleash their smells when combined with aromatic citrus like bergamot or tangerine but also fresh blooming bouquet of neroli or mimosa. Wherever I go, I will always try to look for floral gardens. I will never forget the day my mother and grandmother got this superb mixed roses bouquet, a real kaleidoscope of colours. They used to share the flowers with me so that I could decorate my room with their beauties. At night, my dreams were accompanied by their lovely scents.
The Fragrance that has a spacial place in my heart is one my dad always wore, it’s one of the first perfumes in history ever designed specifically for a man, Pour Un Homme De Caron.I’ve worn it for about 20 years, and I absolutely love it. It’s got a gorgeous freshness of French lavender and a delicate powdery undertone of Vanilla, but because it’s designed for men it’s not too sweet which is what I really like about it.I remember, when I was younger, I always had a blanket that I use to hide in my dad’s clothes so it would smell like him. When I was a teenager, I would always sprite myself with it when I stayed with my dads house as I didn’t own my own perfume at that point. Eventually, my dad gave me my own bottle at Christmas, and it was my very first bottle of perfume which, as you can imagine, was amazing. My dad unfortunately passed away 5 years ago. Now, when I spray this perfume, it means so much more to me. I feel instantly transported back to being a child and find such familiarity and comfort in that. It really is incredible what the power of scent can do.
My scent memory is a beautiful blend of eucalyptus, geranium, lavender and peppermint with wafts of the Indian ocean. That is because my husband now of 15 years whisked me off to a very remote island in the Maldives to propose to me. And that night we bathed in the most beautiful shower gel. Well, the smell of that shower gel has become a signature smell of our marriage it’s lasted us 15 years, and I’m so anxious that I’m not going to be able to get hold of the shower gel that I import it in bulk. It’s very evocative, it’s very peaceful, it’s very reassuring. And that is my scent memory.
My scent memory comes from quite far back in my childhood. When I was little my family lived in California, and my father would drag us to every single national park. This one summer, he took us to see Redwood trees. In this redwood forest, I remember the smell of the bark, the slight dampness that was their underfoot, and this enormous sense of space. But that very very dry wood is definitely responsible for my love of all woody ingredients today.
I really like the notion of scents being these little time machines that bring us right back to exact same place and time. For me there is one particular scent that is imprinted in my memory and it’s the scent of my mothers red lipstick. Creamy hues, red rose, dewy petals all of the scents are so alluring it makes me want to eat it! It was the time I started to wonder about how scents evoke our other senses and they have this wonderful power about them.
My scent memory is that of my dad. My dad used to work with a lot fragrances that were sandalwood based which drew me closer to the material of sandalwood. Everytime I create I try to encoporate sandalwood into my fragrances because it just takes me down a journey of being protected by my father. Sandalwood is my scent memory.
One of my earliest scent memories is going as a child to stay at my Grandma’s and without fail she would run us a bubble bath with Badedas. To this day I am obsessed with Badedas, I still use it in the shower now and I’m so glad they still sell it because she’s not with us anymore but it reminds me of her every time. That, plus Imperial Leather bar soap which she had at every sink in her house, were some really early childhood memories.
My childhood summers in the USA were spent on an island called Chincoteague. It was almost a mythical place, part marshland, part beach, complete with wild horses galloping through frothy waves. A single sprtiz of that briny, mineral zing of salt water, tempered by the smell of citrus and ambery sunscreen is all it takes to transport me back to that magical place and remind me of what it feels like to have seaspray from the Atlantic lick my warm sunkissed skin. It was an innocent carefree time which makes it the perfect antidote to lifes current pressures.
One of my most favourite scent memories is of my auntie’s basket treasure trove. She used to sell baskets at the French markets and she used to make baskets as well, and as a kid we had this big dilapidated barn in my grandparents garden and she used to keep all her stock there. When we played hide and seek, with all my cousins, I’d go and hide in there and the scent of the baskets was overwhelmingly sweet, nutty, warm, reassuring, almost like the smell of straw. It is just a smell that is very precious and special to me. It reminds me of my family in France who I haven’t seen in a couple of years because of lockdown.