My Life in Scents

by Sophie Brown


A women's scent remains dancing through the air in a room long after she has left so it figures that it should be something special and something that represents her. Certain scents are so synonymous with women I know that when I walk past someone with the same scent, even if they look nothing similar, I still have to do a double take.  If I ever get a whiff of Gucci Rush, it quite literally sends me hurtling back to my teens. To a time when me and my friends, after an hour of applying copious layers of Sunshimmer and Barry M cement like foundation, would douse ourselves in it till our eyes watered.  It reminds me of dizzy fun times, when we would skip into bars quite obviously being underage and often be asked to leave, giggling on our way out.

One of my current perfumes, Chanel No 5, is a scent that makes me feel like I am back in my Grandma's kitchen, reaching under her sink into her beauty cupboard to steal a spritz of her Chanel No 5 Body spritz spray while she was distracted by the crazy family dog. I don't quite know how this transpired but I have the exact same spray now in my bedroom, it must be at least 10 years old but it it still sitting there exuding that black and gold combination of timeless sophistication. My boyfriend bought me a bottle of the Eau de Parfum for an anniversary present and I like to think it is a scent which will remain a part of my life and be passed down the generations, with it's beautiful combination of Ylang, Ylang, Mayrose and Jasmine. It is a transition scent, for when a girl becomes lady. 

Florabotanica by Balenciaga was an impulse choice when I was asked what scent I wanted for Christmas a few years ago and has become a favourite. The bottle in itself is a mini work of art, a true representation of the Balenciaga aesthetic. It is a zingy and sophisticated scent  with oriental floral notes and a hint of mint which is a striking alternative to the usual sweet, girly scents that you can detect in the atmosphere on any given day.  It has become a part of my daily routine, as essential as brushing my teeth and I often get asked what it is. I like to try and pass it off as my natural scent but alas I always have to give up it's name. This scent again has become entwined with certain memories of life especially with it being used as a pick me up after big nights out during the Christmas period when I first started using it. If perfume bottles could talk hey. 

With the spring weather approaching (fingers crossed) I will begin to use my Eau de Jardins by Clarins again.  This is the most gloriously uplifting and summery scent, when I untwist the cap it is like opening the door to a flourishing flower garden in Provence.  A mixture of essential oils and plant extracts, it not only smells divine but it is nourishing for the skin too. Just smelling it makes me feel like I am basking in warmth, taking me back to last summer when I visited Palma and Paris and wore this scent every day. It makes me think of water and suntan lotion and minimal clothing.

I rarely buy new scents but my most recent purchase was Black Amber from Zara as it was only one pound so I thought I should give it a whirl. If it smelt like raw sewage then no loss at only a quid.  Fortunately it was more than pleasant. It is a rich, sultry and quite fruity smell made for night time adventures. If I had to describe it using human personality traits, I would say it was cheeky and ultra feminine. An undeniably attractive combination. No memories are inextricably intertwined with this scent yet but I I am wearing it tonight so I will keep you posted. 

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