Scent holds a very interesting place in our lives. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of different smells pass through our noses on a daily basis, yet how many do we actually recognize? How often do we acknowledge them? A good smell has the power to leave a positive impression, whereas a bad smell can serve as a permanent deterrent. Something can smell clean or dirty, salty, sweet, or sour, delicious or entirely unappetizing, and depending on where it falls, we react differently to them. Specific smells trigger memories for some people—whether it be freshly baked chocolate chip cookies reminding you of long afternoons in Grandma’s yellow linoleum kitchen, or the cool, crisp, scent of cedar taking you back to the days you watched your dad in his woodshop—every smell has the power to spark a memory.
One of the strongest smells for me is “boat smell”. Having grown up on a 41’ Fraser called Synchronicity, constantly encompassed in the smell, I never really knew what exactly “boat” smelled like. That being said, having now lived off of our boat for over 10 years, I know exactly what it smells like—gasoline, mildew, campfire, a smidgen of varnish, salty winds, and unexplored horizons. To someone that doesn’t understand what it feels like to have the ocean breeze race through your hair, to feel the loll of the pacific rolling your home back and forth, to crowd around a campfire fighting for the prime hot dog roasting spot, or to pray your dad will start the engine so that you’ll have enough power to watch a Disney movie, this smell probably wouldn’t be all that pleasant. In fact, to someone that didn’t understand, the varnish might remind them of hard-work, and the mildew, neglect. But that’s the thing about scent, it’s individual for everyone. And in that individuality lies a sort of nostalgia. Maybe that’s because the ones that leave the greatest impact are those that we forget about until they waft back into our nostrils, or maybe it’s because we can never fully share the experience that certain aromas create. The smell after the first rainfall can only be described, in my opinion, as “deliciously fresh.” It can immediately transport you back to rainy afternoons curled up on the couch, or the feeling of those tiny droplets on your skin. So how does someone ever decide on “their scent”?
Finding the perfect fragrance is no easy task. I think, though I am no expert, that the perfume companies are aware of the different ways that people perceive various smells, and they recognize that various scents mix with the oils in our skin and smell unique to each individual. Knowing that, how do they ever create a product that appeals to more than one person? Well, while I don’t know the actual answer, if I had to take a guess based off of the reasons I fell in love with Lise Watier’s, Something Sweet, I would say that they look to create a fragrance that sparks emotion. The reason that I love Something Sweet, and am proud to be the face of it, is because of the way it makes me feel when I wear it. Something Sweet is a mix of champagne bubbles, rainbow sorbet, melon fizz, red fruit, raspberry, and chocolate mousse. First off, let me just say, YUM! #1 reason I love this perfume is because it’s delicious and I’m a serious sucker for desserts. But aside from that, champagne reminds me of celebrations, and rainbow sorbet takes me back to the days of late-night sleepovers with my best girlfriends—the sorbet acting as the perfect accent to our gossip, laughter, and fun-filled evenings. And voila, we have a scent that reminds me of care-free, fun-filled, times—a fragrance that takes me to a place where I was truly happy. As for melon fizz and red fruit the connection is a little less direct. For some reason these scents embody health to me. Perhaps it’s because the only red fruits I can think of off the top of my head are apples (an apple a day keeps the doctor away) and pomegranates (which we all know to be an antioxidant), but regardless of the reasoning the emotion is undeniable—when I’m healthy and happy I am also confident—sure of the days to come. And finally we have raspberries and chocolate mousse. The smell of raspberries will always remind me of warm summer afternoons in my grandparent’s garden. It reminds me of a child overcome with joy as she fills her pail with ripe, juicy, berries, and a time of sweet innocence; again, an emotion-filled association. Chocolate mousse, on the other hand, takes me to a time of indulgence. Annual escapes to the chocolate buffet—evenings filled with hours of preparatory primping and flirtatious glances. All of these memories and associations add up to a scent that makes me feel young and playful, sweet yet flirty, confident and undeniably happy. Although these emotions are not unique to me, my experience with the fragrance is.
How do you experience your favourite fragrance?
Until next time,