Scents of Place

Perfume is one of the most powerful methods of recalling a time and place.  It's incredible how just opening up an old bottle of perfume can remind you of things you haven't thought about in years.  It's so much more powerful than just seeing a photograph of that same time period, because it's a very metaphysical experience.

I thought it would be fun to write about some of the perfumes that I've worn throughout my life, and what memories they bring back for me.  What are some perfumes that bring back memories for you?

Chanel: Chance // This was my first perfume.  I started wearing it in high school, but the memories it brings back for me are fall days in Santa Cruz, bundled up under scarves and pea coats, because it's definitely better suited to cold weather.

Benefit: B-Spot // Definitely a young perfume.  It reminds me of summer camp, when I would spend a week in the Sierra Nevada mountains with some of my oldest friends.  

Jeanne Lanvin // One of my coworkers in France gave this to me, shortly before I moved back to America.  I wore it constantly during my last two weeks in France, when my mom and I drove all over the French countryside, visiting tiny towns and mountain villages.  It reminds me of the Alps, crumbling castles, and narrow attic rooms.

Dolce & Gabbana: The One // I worked for an Italian family during the summer of 2009, and the mother gave me two perfumes on my last day.  This reminds me of the fall returning to Santa Cruz for my last year of college: lots of little reunions, outdoor parties, rainy days.

Dolce & Gabbana: Light Blue // This was the other gift from the Italian mother, and I wore it at the same time period, so a lot of the memories are similar.  This one in particular reminds me of crowding way too many friends into a sedan and then going to see a concert somewhere in Santa Cruz.

Michael Kors: So Hollywood // This was a present from my mother when we went to Kauai in the summer of 2009, and it reminds me of spending time on the beach, but also going back to school in the fall.

Chanel: No 5 // This reminds me of being at home, especially during the rainy season.  It was a Christmas present from my dad.

88 Orange: Blossom Scent // This is one of the best perfumes I've ever owned.  It's so difficult to find a perfect match to the smell of an orange blossom, which is my favorite flower smell.  It reminds me of the house where I grew up, because our neighbors had orange trees, and everything smelled like citrus blossoms.  Unfortunately, this company has gone out of existence, and when I use up this bottle, I'll have to find a different brand.

Chloe // My mom bought this right before I left for France, and I waited until I was at my room in Paris to open the box.  I wanted something that would remind me (years from now) of my travels here, and fall in Paris.  I've been using it every day, and it's become one of my favorite scents - thanks, mom!

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