Perfume Is The Most Intense Form Of Memory

Perfume is the most intense form of memory.

Viktor and Rolf Bonbon

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

Viktor and Rolf Bonbon

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.

Viktor and Rolf Bonbon

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.

Viktor and Rolf Bonbon


You can create your own self indulgent memories with Viktor and Rolf Bonbon at

Are you on Instagram? I will be posting on Instagram from Paris – make sure you are following me! @Corinnamakeup

This is not a sponsored post, but it does contain affiliate links.


Related Posts:

The Bloomingdales Beauty Box

Corinna B’s World Goes Back To Paris

It’s time to fly the friendly skies again!

I was supposed to be taking a private client on a tour of Italy right now, but life happened and she had to postpone. Another client who has traveled with me to Italy four times asked me to show her Paris. With travel when Plan A doesn’t work out there is invariably a very fabulous Plan B waiting for you! My motto with international travel is Just Roll With It. When you can let go of being ruled by plans and schedules you open yourself up to all the fantastic things that can happen.

And now a perfectly fabulous Paris trip is about to happen!

Find the perfect Paris hotel at the lowest price. Check hotel rates at TripAdvisor!
Paris fashion Illustration


My friend Marta (@Sonhostyle on Instagram) did this fashion illustration for me for the Paris tour. I love it!

Find Paris Vacation Apartment Rentals here on TripAdvisor!

I hope you will follow along on Instagram. My insta handle is @Corinnamakeup

Au revoir!



Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris – Chic Secrets of the City of Lights

A couple of weeks ago I received a priority mail package from Paris.


Best Paris Guide Book

In order to understand how hard I geeked out at this you have to know that I love Paris.

This post contains affiliate links

I read endless books set in Paris. I’m just finishing a book called A Paris Apartment, which is set in the 9th arrondissement, one of my new favorite areas. (If you walk down from Montmartre toward the Galeries Lafayette you will be cruising through the 9th.)

When I’m working in my office French Traditional Radio is playing on my Pandora. (In fact as I write this post Emilie-Claire Barlow is on Pandora singing about being alone tonight.) I spend far too much time on Pinterest looking at all things Parisian, and I  love to read Paris based bloggers.

My favorite blog out of Paris is Messy Nessy Chic. Nessy is a British thirty-something who went to Paris, fell in love, (dreamy, non?) and stayed. She wandered all over the City of Lights, discovered the coolest things in the city’s nooks and crannies, and started blogging about them.

When I first found the Messy Nessy Chic blog I couldn’t stop clicking through it. If you have been reading my travel posts then you already know that I like to color outside the lines when I travel. I like to get away from the big tourist spots and discover the real city. I like to come away with an experience of the place I’m in, not just postcard photos of the main tourist sights.


Don't Be A Tourist In Paris


I have lost many hours online wandering through Paris with Nessy. Then while in Paris I’ve eaten at her recommended lunch spots, searched for her hidden courtyards, looked for a chair outside an alley in Le Marais. She is the most glorious guide to Paris, leading you through the obscure and the unknown. The things you don’t find in guide books, but that make your trip to Paris just sensational.

I get Messy Nessy Chic in my inbox. On Fridays she delivers a cool post on conversation starters for the weekend ahead, with all kinds of quirky and interesting things that she has found. On Monday she sends out a post called 13 Things I Found On The Internet, which has more obscure, intriguing vignettes that I am always excited to look through.

Then there is my favorite, Don’t Be a Tourist. In this section she takes you off the beaten path to some of the most fabulous and fascinating parts of Paris. If you have been to Paris, if you are going to Paris, if you are dreaming of one day going to Paris you will absolutely love this.


Messy Nessy Chic Don't Be A Tourist In Paris


And it gets better. Nessy just released her first book, Don’t be a Tourist in Paris. I signed up for mine on the first day of pre-sale, and now here it is, having traveled all the way from Paris to my home in Phoenix.


Don't Be A Tourist In Paris

Shooting a coffee story for le blog, and reading parts of the book to photographer and very dear friend, Kristina Wood


I have been pouring through it the past two weeks. There is just so much in this book! My copy is full of dog eared pages, book marks, notes in the margins. She has sections on where movie scenes took place, another on where to shop like a Parisian in gorgeous boutiques that line picturesque roadways far from the main street regulars. She breaks down each arrondissement and where to eat or stop for a glass of wine in each, she tells you about places to visit in underground Paris. Romantic spots, places to go if you’re traveling with kids, places to take your parents – there are so many cool things in this book! It is the ultimate guide to Paris.

Check out her video, just for a little tease…


I’m heading back to Paris in a couple of weeks, and although I know this city so well I’m taking Don’t Be A Tourist In Paris with me.

I don’t personally know Nessy or anyone at Messy Nessy Chic.   I just want you to know about this book because it’s fantastic. I want you to see another side of Paris that doesn’t involve climbing the tower, waiting in line at the Louvre or stomping along the Champs Elysees. The Paris of my mis-spent youth was wild and fun and involved smoking cigarettes at outdoor cafés  and flirting with french boys on vespas. It was all about a fun and chic city filled to the brim with killer cool things to do, offbeat, quirky things to see, the real Paris where the locals live out their über-chic lives, being Parisian.

I want you to know that Paris. I want you to not waste time leaving a lock on a bridge but instead wander into an alleyway on the left bank, head past the antiques shops and down to the best lunch spot in town. I want you to explore Paris with this wonderful book as your guide.

Order your copy of Don’t be a Tourist in Paris: The Messy Nessy Chic Guide  on here

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All images in this post are from