Is perfume more than just a smell?

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Perfume is the ultimate thing that makes a person personal. Think about it for just a moment – picture a memory of someone close to you and what do you think of? Is it their voice? The way they hug? How they smell, perhaps? For me, it’s the latter of the three.

Our memory of people is a puzzle that is pieced together by all our senses. There is nothing quite like catching the scent of someone you love as they embrace you with open arms.

The scent someone chooses to wear is everything. It defines that person and gives a comfort which fills a void which no photograph can. When I catch the scent on someone else in a crowded place, it takes my mind straight back to that special person.

My dad left when I was 15-years-old and I remember crying myself to sleep every night the week he left and many a night after. One night I opened up the wardrobe which had formerly belonged to him and discovered a nearly empty bottle of Armani classic. I sprayed it on my pillow before I went to sleep and everything good about my Dad came flooding back. It filled the raw, empty space which had just recently been left in my heart, even if only for a brief moment.

Opium is my Mum’s perfume, a fine elegant and slightly mature smell – just like the lady wearing it. It’s the smell I have grown up with. I would sit on my mum’s bed and play with her make-up while she got ready for a big night out. The aroma in the room was overpowering by the time she had finished and my nine-year-old fingers would be pinching my nose closed. “That’s enough perfume,” I would say. The perfume was so strong that the house would still smell of it even after she had left.

My other half smells of Red Lacoste. When he leaves his brown, woollen jumper lying around my room in his early hour dash out to work, I can’t help but hold it to my face and take a breath in. It takes me to the moment when I put my head on his shoulder and I’m greeted by a wave of aftershave.

Finally, the most important smell, I don’t even know the name of. It’s the smell of my Grandma. A musky, slightly rosy, type smell that would bring comfort as she nursed a younger me on her knee after I had fallen over, wasn’t feeling well, or just downright needed a hug from my Grandma. We all need one of those, time to time. Sadly I can’t get a physical one any more but I do have her old perfume bottle which still has that faint smell inside. This way, I will always have the memories.

I wear Flowerbomb. It’s a beautiful, potent perfume which shouts out: “I have arrived,” whenever you enter a room. People can usually smell you before they can see you. I can imagine anyone close to me, thinking of me whenever they smell this perfume. Good. That’s how it should be.

“A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting.” – Christian Dior.

Dior, you could not have got it more spot on.

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