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The Fragrance Foundation UK

#ScentMemories

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Marie Krnakova

“One of my more vivid scent memories is of an afternoon walk from my school. It was my seventh birthday and I could not wait to get home and start the birthday celebrations; to open all my presents and to have a slice of cake. As I walked home through a nearby church garden, I suddenly ran into this beautiful cloud of a floral scent, so sweet and delightful. I instantly thought it was the most beautiful perfume I had ever smelt. Ignoring the birthday excitement, I started searching for the source of the smell. At some point, I looked down at my feet and noticed these tiny purple flowers in the grass. I remember sitting there on the cold grass amongst the violet flowers for a few moments, admiring their beauty, and thinking to myself how such tiny flowers can produce a fragrance so intense and beautiful.”

Caroline Connor

My favourite scent memory is quite a recent one. My Husband and I were wed in Scotland last year and the candles we used to scent Achnagairn Castle in Inverness, our wedding venue brings back the fondest of memories.

We chose to use candles by Penhaligon’s, ‘Christmas is in the air’ and ‘Lavandula’ scents. Guests repeatedly commented on how beautiful these scents were as they filled everything from the rehearsal dinner space, the corridors of the guest’s room, to the ceremony.

Scent became a big part of the day and enhanced the atmosphere and memories too! Every time I burn the candles at home I am transported back to that happy time in the Highlands.

Courtenay Barron-Cutts

The crisp salty smell of a wetsuit transports me immediately to the Cornish seaside where my family and I spent summers surfing and camping in the fresh Atlantic air. Even just thinking about the smell of the material takes me back to the sand dunes, the pasties and endless games of UNO!

Phoebe Willis-Butcher

It’s become a Christmas Tradition in my family that we all go and shop for the Christmas Tree together. Having always returned to the same Christmas Tree Farm the unique smell of the pine forest has come to remind me of my childhood excitement to choose the perfect tree for the woodman to cut down. The beautiful earthy scent of the fir tree will always transport me back to warm family times and the feeling of Christmas.

Andrea McLean

It’s incredible how most of our scent memories stem from our mothers, and the fragrances they wore while we were children. A faint whiff of one particular perfume can transport me instantly back in time to the age of around 8, when my mother would have been in her early 30s. She and my father used to entertain at our house a lot; it was the 70s and dinner parties were something that were occasions to dress up for. My mum made her own dresses – they were flowing halter-neck creations in vivid colours – and she looked beautiful. Mum would kiss us goodnight as she tucked us in, and the smell of Opium would linger in the air and on my pillow long after she had gone. The memory of it, like her scent, has lingered…

Orwa Shayah

Citrusy perfumes for me are attached to very nice memories of the Mediterranean sea side. The relaxing freshness of  orange perfumes reminds me of the unforgettable portrait of the sunset when the sun is gradually hugging the sea, while the uplifting lemony scents always takes me to the positive vibes of the sunny Mediterranean.

Virginie Duigou

One of my standout fragrance memories is of my mother and her love for rose fragrances. When I was a little girl, I would sit in awe as my mother would apply her makeup so effortlessly and pin up her hair before finishing her ‘mise en beaute’ by spraying the same fragrance every day. I remember the hints of floral notes mixed with the amber scent she would leave behind as she would walk by or give me a kiss good night.

Ruth Mastenbroek

My mother adored perfume, and her favourite was Youth Dew by Estee Lauder, which was launched in 1953. My family emigrated to the US when I was 4 years old, and I wonder if it epitomised the liberation she must have felt, leaving England and everything she had ever known. Just a whiff of it, even now, transports me back to my childhood, to visions of her wardrobe of 1950’s-style party dresses, full skirts of taffeta with velvet bodices; I would try on Mom’s high heels while she got ready to go out, hair coiffed, makeup carefully applied. Her bedroom would be temporarily strewn with powders and potions, eye makeup, lipsticks… My mother would have her hair done once a week, and the scent of Elnett hairspray featured large… but Youth Dew would overpower everything with its spicy sweet intensity. Smelling it makes me sentimental, looking back to a time of my life that I cherish, when my mother was young and beautiful, when she had the world at her feet. From childhood I knew I wanted to be a part of the world of glamour, of fashion… my mother showed me that your choice of perfume is a personal statement. In a way I have been following the trail of Youth Dew ever since!

 

Mandy Aftel

My favourite scent memory is when I was a child, my mother kissing me good night before she went out with my father on Saturday evenings. A cloud of her signature Joy perfume enveloped me, along with the infinite softness of her mink. The heady, narcotic aroma of those flowers took me to exotic places in my imagination, far removed from our predictable suburban routines.

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