Perfume is the most intense form of memory.
To this day the smell of freshly cut grass catapults me back to idyllic summer afternoons in our back yard in New Zealand when I was 6 years old.
The smell of roses takes me to the city I grew up in, Christchurch, to our garden that was full of blooms, to the fresh cut roses my mother always had in our home.
The combination of jasmine and lemon flies me in an instant to Capri and the Amalfi Coast. Add honeysuckle to the mix and I can close my eyes and imagine I’m back in Lipari, wandering down the lane to the ocean front.
“The capacities for both smell and emotion are rooted in the same network of brain structures, the limbic system. The olfactory center also interacts directly with the hippocampus, a brain area involved in the formation of new memories. “No other senses have this kind of deep access,” ~ excerpt from The Hidden Force Of Fragrance, Rachel Herz
Back in Los Angeles in the 90’s I had a long spell of wearing Chanel No. 5. During that time I had a billionaire makeup client who owned countless businesses, and his production team was always booking me to shoot with them. In many ways he was an overwhelming presence to be around, easily the most genius brain I have ever encountered, but at the same time the epitome of quiet elegance.
He used to tell me he could tell if I had been around because there would be an almost imperceptible trace of Number 5 in the air. I was always amazed that that super computer of a brain would stop long enough to take in that detail.
Years ago I had a layover at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on my way to Florence. I wandered into a duty free store and picked up a bottle of Narciso Rodriguez For Her and sprayed it onto a card that I then dropped in my bag and forgot about. But when I arrived in Florence the fragrance wafted up at me every time I opened my handbag. After a day I had to go find it and buy it, and to this moment every time I wear it it takes me back to Florence.
Elegance is not catching somebody’s eyes, it’s staying in somebody’s memory ~Giorgio Armani
Bloomingdale’s recently sent me a Fall 2017 Beauty Box. (I still can’t even believe they know my little blog exists! How is it that I am not lost in the giant shuffle of influencers filling up cyberspace??) One of the items inside that box was a big bottle of Viktor and Rolf Bonbon.
Fragrance is the voice of inanimate things. ~ Mary Webb
The box itself was so gorgeous that I kept it on my nightstand for days, just for the sheer pleasure of looking at it.
Once opened I found the bottle itself was a little work of art, cleverly shaped as a wrapped candy. Viktor and Rolf Bonbon is for women who enjoy and celebrate the true pleasure of self indulgence.
Women in my world work and raise families and spend their days in an endless, multitasking whirlwind, like a juggler with a hundred balls in the air. We don’t lead self indulgent lives, but we live with the dream of them. We take enormous amounts of pleasure in the littlest of things. Sometimes that can be something so small as the delicate whisper of our perfume as our wrist passes by to juggle more balls high in the air.
When you know already that fragrance is such a powerful, emotional link to memories, you have the opportunity to create that link for yourself.
By the time you read this post I will be heading back to Paris for more whirlwind multitasking. Instead of packing a travel sized perfume I’m choosing to take my full sized bottle of Bonbon.
I love its caramel notes wrapped around oranges and mandarins and peaches. I love the jasmine in its heart, and the base notes of ambers and cedars and sandalwoods. It feels indulgent.
Viktor and Rolf Bonbon is both feminine and insouciant. Paris is equal parts nonchalant and indulgent, so they will be a great fit, not just for this trip, but forever. Because by wearing Bonbon on this trip they will be linked in my memories for eternity.
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