For a long time perfume, and specifically Este Lauder’s Beautiful, was something I associated with my mom, and by extension, moms in general. I didn’t have a perfume that I wore every day until last year. Jo Malone’s English Pear and Freesia is the best thing I’ve ever smelled. I wear it everyday. I like it because it’s light — a fragrance I don’t feel weird about wearing in warm weather or to work, one that only people who hug me can smell (or so I hope).
Part of me wishes that this is my scent forever, that I scratch ”find a signature scent” off of my life list, had I only ever thought to add that action. But, all it takes is one whiff of a scent I used to wear to be mentally transported back to different versions of my younger self. They say smell is the sense most closely associated with memory, so will all of my memories of my mid-twenties blend together into one scent if I don’t change things up?
Ruminate on that while reading about my fragrance history and the places they take me back to.
Scent: Happy Daisy by Bath & Body Works
A Google search just informed me that this scent has been discontinued, which I’m willing to bet was of my mother’s doing. She hated Happy Daisy, which is probably because it smelled less like a field of wildflowers and more like someone had stuck a Skittle up your nose, complimented by the fact that my application technique back in 1998 was along the lines of more is more.
Age: 13 going 19
Scent: Love Spell by Victoria’s Secret
I’m not sure what’s worse about this picture: the fact that this photo hangs in my dad’s house to this day or the fact that after it was taken my family told me that this photo really “summed me up.” The thing I know for sure is that I was covered from neck to wrists in Victoria’s Secret’s Love Spell during my entire eighth grade year. A young girl next to me on the bus the other day was wearing this scent, and I was 1) interested to know that this scent is still popular with 13-year-olds and 2) instantly transferred back to the world of constant attitude, gossip and drama. Sorry mom and dad, and also everyone that sat next to me that year.
In high school, I retired my empty bottle of Love Spell and wore nothing for a while, like any kid should. It wasn’t until college that I thought about trying a new scent. This time I went to a department store and bought Light Blue from Dolce & Gabbana. The scent is a bit too overpowering for my taste now but takes me back to warm New England days at the start of school and to my sorority formals. Life was fairly carefree with Light Blue.
Scent: Kai body glow
After college I went through a bit of an earthy stage, and found a hippy-approved body spray that I still love and wear on occasion. Kai combines all the best tropical flowers like gardenias and jasmine into one refreshing scent that makes you feel like you’re in Hawaii. This was the first perfume I bought more than once, and I still love to spray it on after a shower before bed. I have the body glow, which is a really light dry oil, so it’s moisturizing and doesn’t stick on too long. You can get the perfume version, however, for a longer lasting smell.
Then last year my sister gifted me my now signature Jo Malone. It reminds me of Christmas, of moving to San Francisco with Jordan, and of a bunch of other happy things. There’s no change in sight on this one.
Please note that I’ve provided links to the last three perfumes I’ve worn, but, I beg of you, don’t seek out Love Spell or new versions of Happy Daisy. You’re better than that.
Do you wear perfume? Do you wear it everyday? What smells take you back to a different time and place?