For me, the recollection of a moment can be embodied in two ways – either in a photograph, or by a scent. The capturing of an image is easy thanks to smartphones, but scent… far more elusive. These memories are much rarer, far more vivid and catch me unawares; a little like flashbacks.
When I started working on the PR team at L’Oreal Paris I tried on a Color Riche lipstick, unaware that it was my mothers brand of choice when I was a child. Sitting at my desk, fully grown up and about to go into a strategy meeting I was suddenly transported back to the 1980s and my mum leaning over my bed to kiss me goodnight before evenings out. It was unexpected, comforting and surreal.
You see, there’s a lot to be said for how beauty can make you feel. Products overlooked by one person wind their way into the heart & soul of another. It’s emotive because – in my experience – the fragrance transports us back to an entirely personal moment in time.
Unlike viewing a photo, smell is evocative: it’s not rocket science, simply that your olfactory senses are linked to an area of the brain that processes emotion. When you first encounter a fragrance, you link it to a person, an event, an experience. It’s like everything in that one moment is wrapped up, including your mood.
“Perfume is the most intense form of memory” – Jean Paul Guerlain
Perfumes of course are the obvious choice when recalling #ScentMemories, but think a little deeper and you’ll find other triggers: a particular hand cream, hair spray, soap or indeed, lipstick can transport you back to moments long forgotten.
On this National Fragrance Day 2017, take a moment and think deeply – which beauty scent makes YOU feel?
3 fragrances that evoke my #ScentMemories
My late nanny’s fragrance, this timeless scent from Nina Ricci originally launched in 1948 and floods me with so many happy memories of my childhood – especially baking in her kitchen.
My wedding fragrance: smoky, sensual, long-wearing and also surprisingly calming. It reminds me of dancing with air guitars late into the best night of my life.
Not only a throw-back to my teens, it’s also the fragrance my husband wears and one that I can’t help but steal when he’s not around. I love men’s scents as they have better staying power on my skin.