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The Fragrance Foundation UK

#ScentMemories

Hannah Timson

I can’t put the smell into exact words, but it’s kind of musky and old. The smell you get in antique furniture when you open it, or an old cupboard under the stairs. It always reminds me of my Grandparents’ house in Lincoln. When we’d go up to visit them, they had these cupboards. One was filled with teddies and cuddly toys, and the other had loads of games in it. I particularly remember things like dominoes. I think my dad liked to play with them when he was young and so they’d kept them for their grandchildren. Whenever I smell that scent, to this day it takes me back to being a child with them.

 

Daniel Horner

When I was a toddler I had difficulty breathing through my nose and to help me get to sleep at night my mother use to massage the bridge of my nose with lavender oil. Every time I smell a scent that contains lavender it always takes me back to that comforting moment with my mother and how soothing it was. The memory is extremely vivid and the sweet note of Lavender always fills me with warmth and love and will remain with me for the rest of my life.

 

Katrina Sen

When I was 5 years old, my friend and I used to collect up roses from the Garden and make our own perfume to sell. We’d then take our earnings to the local corner shop and buy as many 5p sweets as possible!! The smell of roses always takes me back to being that 5 year old girl.

 

Hanika Sawhney

This memory has stayed with me and perhaps always will. When I was young, my grandmother used to come to our house to make paranthas (punjabi stuffed flatbreads). She would make them and send some to my dad at his shop, to my uncle at his house and then take some home for themselves. The house would smell of them for the rest of the day. Whenever I smell paranthas when I come home from work, it takes me back to that time. I can still picture her ringing the door bell and spending all her time in our kitchen before going back home.

Laura Ganpot

My mum is infamous for her home-made bread and always makes it during Christmas time. Whenever I smell bread baking it makes me feel Christmassy and warm and reminds me of the first house I grew up in.

 

 

Louisa Roberts

My first fragrance memory is so powerful and nostalgic, I can remember it so clearly. As a young girl I would sit in my mother’s bedroom watching my her put on her make-up before going out for dinner. She would finish putting on her lipstick, and then spritz Joy by Jean Patou all over herself (very liberally!) and whenever I walk past someone wearing Joy, that memory comes flooding back.

Claire Vukcevic

I grew up in a house that was originally a forge, built in the middle of the Irish Famine in 1846. My abiding scent memory is not of perfumes but of certain domestic smells surrounding the house and its rural setting – the scent of radiators heating up, boxes of gently-corroding school essays in the study, saddle soap, tack rooms, coal fires, sweaty horse flank, and our back kitchen, piled high with root vegetables in storage and failed yoghurt experiments. My mother is very sensitive to this, but the house was always freezing – you could see your breath when you exhaled. But it was a home full of love, and that’s what really matters. The perfumes that give me a Proustian shudder are all ones that evoke one of these smell memories for me. Chanel Cuir de Russie reminds me of the horses I rode out for a local racing stables, while Slumberhouse New Sibet reminds me of the eerie smell of potatoes and deserted tack rooms. And every time I smell Montale’s Aoud Cuir d’Arabie, I am reminded of the way the air inside our lunchboxes smelled on the day before school started, after a long summer of sweating, closed, and unaired, in a dark closet. I am sure that the creators of these perfumes would be very surprised to hear it, but these perfumes smell 100% Irish to me.

Headshot Claire Vukcevic

Shannon Peters

When my boyfriend and I moved in to our new flat earlier this year, we received Aesop’s Olous room spray as a moving in gift. Eager to mask that ‘new home’ smell, I was quick to spray every inch of every room with the stuff. With a few top-up spritzes every other day since, its blend of heavenly galbanum, grapefruit and jasmine hasn’t just lingered, but it’s basically nuzzled its way into every crevice and every fibre. Now, every time I open the front door, I’m reminded of that same excitement I felt when we were first handed the keys.
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Carson Parkin-Fairley

My mother and I would make rose ’perfume’ together. We would go to the garden and pick the tender, fragrant petals, take them back and pour hot water over them. The soft, fresh aromas would rise in a plume of rosy steam. Creating this bond with rose at such a young age, means I cannot help but fall for a rose perfume of any variant.
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