I remember when I was younger, my Dad used to work away from home for weeks. On his arrival home, my brother and I would wait for him boy the front door. As he walked in, the scent of the original Ralph Lauren Polo would brush against my cheeks.
My “Madeline of Proust” is the garden of my great grandmother – a real pleasure for the senses. Lilac dropping in the stream making the air fresh while playing in the water. Playing in the sheets drying under the sun. Laying on the fresh grass feeling comfortable and the sun. Rich, refreshing, comfortable, cocooning feelings that I cherish.
My first scent memory is of lemon. I remember my mum using a lemon cologne on our first trip to Spain. That is why I love citrus fragrances.
The smell of Chanel No19 always reminds me of my Uni days as one of the girls in my house wore it – it smelt wonderful on her and lingered. I saved to buy myself some, which sadly smelt totally different on me and only for about 10 minutes! Still, I love to catch a whiff of it as it makes me feel young again, even if I can’t wear it myself!
One of my most treasured special scent memories is the smell of mushrooms. As a kid, my dad, sister and I would go mushroom picking, we’d go foraging between September and late October before the first frost arrived. We’d get up at 5’oclock in the morning and we’d go walking for miles and miles in forests around London and the smell of those damp forest floors and the mushroom scent, it’s like this special prize smell and I will always remember it. I will always treasure those wonderful scent memories with my dad and my sister.
There is one scent memory that is forever connected to Christmas for me and it’s the scent of mandarin peel. My family has a tradition of serving mandarins after Christmas dinner. The sweet, fruity, very juicy notes are forever connected to the wintery Russian Christmas. And every time we celebrate Christmas, it brings me right back to where I grew up.
One scent that connects to me, and I would say almost 60% of my fragrances, are ouds. It takes me right back to when I was a student at university. I had a great job. I worked at Portobello at a leather market on a Sunday. We used to get there a six in the morning. All day we were knitting up these wonderfully, richly, tanned leathers, putting them on and off people, and that smell, that almost pungent, heady, sweet smell has always stayed with me. Every time I smell an oud I think back to that time.
My scent memories bring back a warmth and a fondness of myself and my Boxer dog Ellie-May. We are in the rain, walking down that country lane, smelling the sweet aroma of honey suckle, but never finding or seeing where it is nuzzled but that very same spot would waft a sweet fragrance that you could never forget. We always looked forward to passing by and experiencing such a scent that would encourage you to lift your nose and send you into a scented magical spell-whirl.
Continuing to walk and smell the freshness of the pine trees that were dotted along the lane, watching Ellie-May enjoying and capturing the scents with a lift of her nose and a flair of her nostrils, twinkle in her eyes, as if also to show her appreciation of the scents that surround us.
Wild roses waiving out of the hedgerows, magically releasing their scent, beckoning you to go over and cup them into your hand and inhale the sweet scent, which enticed you to grasp once more and smell again in disbelief, that this rose scent could be so sweet.
Watching Ellie-May trot up and stop and sniff into the wild fern fanned out appropriately positioned at the edge of the lane and lifting her head as if to breathe the scent, both of us enjoying and capturing these wonderful scents, as we walked along this beautiful scent fest.
Now, Ellie May has gone over the rainbow bridge and I walk alone down this fragranced country lane, with each of these scents bringing back a memory of her and reminding me of how much we enjoyed our scented moments together.