Fun fact: I love perfume. As in, I love perfume. None of this signature scent nonsense, if it smells good then I want it. My vanity table is overcrowded with perfume bottles, and my office desk resembles more of perfume sample sale than a work space. It all seems rather fitting really when it’s National Fragrance Day today.
The Fragrance Foundation are celebrating today with the lovely idea of #ScentMemories. But for someone like me thinking of scent memories is actually quite difficult. Obviously there are certain smells that seem to break the time space continuum for me. That particular boyish smell that immediately transports me back to teenage years, sneaking off to make out in the park with that boy I shouldn’t be seeing, or the comforting scent of Givenchy Organza radiating from my mother’s embrace as she held me through the heartbreaks. But, I don’t wear those scents (honestly, I can’t even remember what it was that boy wore; I just know it when I smell it on a passer-by, in a sudden, dizzying, moment of disorientation). Celebrating National Fragrance Day for me, is not necessarily about scent memories.
What is it about fragrance that I’m celebrating then? Perfume lets me be who I want to be, at any given moment. Feeling a need for a little daytime elegance and I’m reaching straight for Coco Mademoiselle. Girly and flirty it’s got to be Miss Dior. Distant and difficult, it’s going to Molecule One. Femme Fatale and I can’t say no to TOM FORD, any TOM FORD. Ultra-glamorous and it’s potent pure jasmine oil melting into my skin. It’s like layering on another facet of my personality, the last piece in my wardrobe, or my armoury, that I put on before I face the world.
So I suppose, for me at least, perfume is less about memories and more about expressing a feeling. Though at the moment, while I’m wearing my tough girl leather notes and power-layering don’t fuck with me ambers, I can’t help but wish my mum still wore Organza.