Memories in Perfumes

You know how the scent of something can bring back a flood of memories? I feel like there’s a term for it but I don’t remember what it is and I don’t want to Google search for hours. It can be any kind of smell. For instance, certain types of cigarettes remind me of my grandpa’s lake house and going to concerts. Smelling funnel cake takes me back to my brother’s elementary school carnival. I remember that time clearly because I got in a fight with a carney. She rudely said during the fight, “It looks like you got that sweater at the Salvation Army” to which I replied, “It looks like your life is from the Salvation Army.”

For me, perfume holds the tickets back in time. I’ve worn so many and been around so many different perfumes in my lifetime that my brain can’t help but to link the fragrances with memories.

Burberry Brit was a staple for me in high school. I wore it a lot when I dated my first boyfriend, Kyle. Burberry smelled the best in the winter because it had notes of vanilla and spice. Did I really just say notes? Who am I? But seriously, I remember wearing this so much that when we broke up, Kyle asked me what perfume I wore so he could get some for his new girlfriend. How precious.burberry-brit-perfume-description_18

Anais Anais is a perfume that my family likes to refer to as Anus Anus. This is an uber floral perfume and I didn’t really like it the first couple times I smelled it. It’s almost got a baby powder smell like Love’s Baby Soft. This perfume reminds me of college and new places. I moved to Utah for my first year of college and it was a big change for me. The other day I was standing behind a woman in line to get tickets for a movie and I could smell it on her. I asked her if she was wearing Anais Anais and she was so scared and replied “I didn’t realize I was wearing that much!” I blamed it on my amazing sense of smell, but really she was wearing a lot.

Ralph Lauren Romance reminds me of Canterbury. There was a lot of romance going on during that time for me so there was really no better choice. Romance smells clean to me. The bottle is also very clean and sleek looking. I would always go into the department store Debenham’s and spray loads on me so I could walk around smelling like a ball of class.

Lola by Marc Jacobs is a fairly new, fun scent. It reminds me of summertime. It’s light and bubbly. The bottle is very in-your-face with magenta hues and a big, plastic flower as the top. I wore it a lot when I was planning my wedding with my mom. Well, she planned it. I just sat there and watched, really. Maybe I can plan my own daughter’s wedding and then she can plan her daughter’s and we’ll have a never-ending line of girls not planning their own weddings. And they can wear Lola to remember it.MJ+lola

Chloe Eau de Parfum  is perhaps one of the best and strongest scents that I’ve smelled. It’s beautiful. I wore it a lot when I first moved to Canada. It reminds me of trying to find my way and learning new things. It also makes me feel rich when I wear it. Chloe is one perfume that’s very recognizable. Whenever I would go into a store people would ask if I was wearing Chloe.

Lastly, my all time favorite is Laila by Geir Ness. This is the hardest perfume to find in the normal world. In the world of EPCOT however, I know just where to get it. The Norway pavilion is drenched in the smell of Laila and it’s just glorious. My mom and I have purchased many a bottle. One time I went there and I actually met Geir Ness, a personal hero of mine, and he rubbed lotion into my hands. True love.

Do you have any favorite perfumes or scents? Stella McCartney just came out with a perfume called Lily so I guess that’s on my Christmas list now?


48 thoughts on “Memories in Perfumes

    • Hehehe! I think it should be a tradition for the future generation of ladies in our family. hahah! Key words: except dad. We are pretty great, I cannot lie!

  1. ‘I blamed it on my amazing sense of smell, but really she was wearing a lot’ — I love your diplomacy! This had me cracking up, “Anus Anus!” And I like your response to the Carney whore! Overall I love perfume though I’ve only worn oils from flowers and plants in the last 7 years since I’ve worked in a garden — a connection? Mayhaps. I was wearing Clinique’s Aromatics before that and oh my goodness it’s strong. So I’d just spray twice in the air and walk through it. Now I think I want to try Lola. And it’s such a pretty bottle.

    • Hah thanks Sandee! I have a friend who only wears oils and she smells amazing! I need to find some. I started wearing Lily of the Valley perfume and I really like it because it’s so pure. That’s awesome that you work in a garden! That would be a good surrounding to be in.
      Yeah, strong perfumes are good for me because I feel like they never stay on me for long. You should definitely try Lola! It’s a fun, happy scent and the bottle is pretty awesome too! 😀

      • abbykramer23 says:

        This is an awesome post! I totally have diff perfumes for diff stages in life! High school: tommy girl, college: Burberry Brit, dating Justin: DKNY be delicious, lately: coach poppy…weird!

  2. runningonsober says:

    I love how you have a signature scent tied to each big occasion.

    Obsession, CK One, Victoria’s Secret Pear Glacee, Angel and something in a colorful bottle by Benetton (?) always stir up memories.

    I’m actually wearing an indie scent called Tainted Love by Tokyo Moon. It smells like vanilla and orchid, go figure. I love the deeper heavier scents- I think vanilla is just so comforting, like fresh baked cookies. Yummm.

    • Hah yeah it makes it extra memorable! My mom wore Angel a lot so I have a lot of memories with that one as well! That Tainted Love one sounds really good. Where did you find it? Yumm cookies…now I want some!

      • runningonsober says: They’re awesome bc you can get samples and all their brands are under the radar so you don’t smell like everyone else. Tokyo Moon is the company that makes Tainted Love (remember that song?!), but Drop Dead Sexy is another popular one for them.

        And oh, get a sample of Taken if you order. It’s heavenly. Like Angel, but a little sweeter vanilla and softer patchouli.

      • Oh cool thanks! Yes I love that song Tainted Love! Hopefully the can ship stuff to Canada, because I really like the design of the bottles. Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. Peaches says:

    I think you told that carnie. Awesome come back. lol. Very funny Lily. Now if only I wore enough perfume to have these types of ties. I want perfume, I’m just so picky…I don’t like a lot of things and the ones I do like are….not cheap.

    • Haha thanks Peaches! That’s the one down side to perfume…they are very pricey. Sometimes the best route is getting a body spray or body “splash” because they usually have the same effect and don’t cost as much which is definitely a plus!

  4. Fun fact – they say older women lose their sense of smell, so they put on their perfume with a heavier hand so that they get the same smell.

    Then they all ride the same train as me.

    • runningonsober says:

      The day I wear my first rosewater and powder perfume I may as well admit that I’m old. Do we start liking rose perfume at a certain age? That and Poison. Ugh never did much for me. But I know some people hate the hippy patchouli in Angel, but I don’t care, I love it.

    • Thanks Michael! I think Kyle just thought I was so awesome that he wanted his new gf to be just like me. At least, that’s what I like to think!
      Carnies are terrifying. I was a brave teenager.

  5. unfetteredbs says:

    scents are magical and how they can transport us to our memories..
    and yet when a certain 15 year old DOUSES herself uncontrollably every morning before school it makes me gag. This too shall be a fond mama memory but for now GACK!!

    • Hah sounds like me! I always give myself 4 or 5 sprays before leaving the house. I feel like the scent never stays on me for long. Hah but yeah you will forever remember that smell!

  6. I’m a little ashamed to admit this, but I am perfume clueless. Last time I was trusted to pick out my own scent I went the bargain bin route and bought Beyonce’s Fire. It took me months to realize why everyone around me kept breaking out in hives and sneezing. It was not, in fact, bootylicious.

    • Hah really? I actually have smelled Fire before and liked it! It takes a lot of time to find ones you like and that won’t break the bank. You probably naturally smell good so you don’t have to worry!

  7. I wore burberry brit during an old relationship too and now can’t wear it at all anymore. I hate when I encounter a guy who has the same scent as one of my exes.. its the worst!

    • Hah true! Yeah sometime scents have the opposite effect and can be a total turn off because of bad memories! (I don’t know why I explained what you just said.) If you find a guy that wears the same cologne as your exes, you should gift him a new, fresh smelling one! He’ll never know your secret plans…!

  8. Liana says:

    loved this… you’re referring to the “olfactory trigger” (memory prompted by scent/smell) and it is probably the most powerful timetunnel there is… very blogworthy material here, Lily 🙂 well thought, well said

    • Thank you so much Liana! Yes! That’s exactly what I’m thinking of! I need to remember that. I love how you worded that “the most powerful timetunnel there is”. Your comment is better than my post! 😀

      • Aw thanks! You should definitely write about it though! Yours will be totally different because you have different memories and scents that you like! Do it! 😀

  9. I wear Old Spice. It reminds me of shaving. However, my mother wears Channel No 5 and always has. I mean always. My wife wears whatever strikes her fancy and she always smells great. Everything she wears makes me want to ravish her! (Unfortunately, she only puts it on when she is leaving the house. Hmmm.) Finally, my first girlfriend wore Heaven Scent. I remember because the advertisement was “a little bit naughty but Heavent Scent.” That was certainly her. HF

    • Haha I love that tagline! I’ve never had the pleasure of smelling Heaven Scent but I love the play on words. Chanel no 5 reminds me of a perfume that older women wear. I never liked it that much for me, but I think my mom has a bottle. It’s nice that your mom has worn it forever and it’s always been around. I don’t think you could find Heaven Scent nowadays!
      Your wife must have good taste. Sometimes perfumes don’t compliment a woman’s natural oils in her skin, but when they do, it’s pure perfection!

  10. Great post! my friend got me a burberry perfume for my birthday, but I find the scent too mature for me. I do like DKNY (the apple one) and Juicy Couture. Dolce and Gabbana’s pretty good too.

    • Thanks so much! Yes, Burberry Brit is the only Burberry perfume that I can really handle. It does feel more grown up and sophisticated. I really like the DKNY apple ones. Be Delicious I think? I don’t know if I’ve smelled the D&G one, but I know Juicy Couture is a nice, fun scent! I like your choices! Very light and girly!

  11. I feel like the next post I do should be about sports out of vengeance.

    Never trust a Kyle. They always screw you over. I’ve met two girls named Kyle. How? Beatrice is a lovely name.

    My favorite scent is anything that doesn’t smell like smoke. I’m not picky.

    • For some reason I must have missed this comment! Yeah Kyles are so dumb. How have you met two girls named Kyle? That’s so rare. Are you sure they weren’t the same girl that was actually a guy?

  12. Love this! I think about perfume and memories sometimes when I am shopping and near the perfume counter. My grandmother used to wear Shalimar – I can’t stand it on me (ugh), but it reminds me of her when I smell it. I used to love Pleasures, but it reminds me of a relationship that went very badly at the end. Sigh. I am a Burberry Sheer girl this fall! 🙂

    • Burberry Sheer is really nice! I like the bottle too. I’m not too familiar with Pleasures, but I understand why you would say good riddance to it! Haha my mom has mentioned Shalimar before! I don’t think I liked it when I smelled it though–too strong!
      Thanks so much for stopping by Allison!

  13. “Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain’s limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it’s sometimes called the “emotional brain,” smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.
    The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning. ”

    There you go, Lily. I had a minute to spare for one of my country’s cutest young bloggers….

    • Hi! Sorry this comment ended up in my spam for some reason! I like Chanel No 5! But I feel like it’s a more mature scent. I might wear it when I’m older 🙂

  14. My mother always wore ‘Youth Dew’ in the winter–a perfume that still makes me car sick when I smell it, as it reminds me of closed cars and heaters and going to Church. Ugh. I love Chanel #5 and have worn it for years.

    • Youth Dew huh? Never smelled it, but I can imagine it smells like women who want to be younger than they really are. I can feel your pain.
      Chanel No 5 is a good one! A staple, really.

      • Addie says:

        Youth Dew is a scent so heavy, it’s almost black in the bottle. It smells like nothing you’ve ever smelt before or ever want to smell again. Coupled with the car heater and being enclosed in said car brought on my car sickness every Sunday. I am thankful you have never smelled that smell.

  15. Sundee says:

    I lived this post and came across your blog because I just got a bottle of Poppy by Coach and the moment I put it on if made me think of high school and Colors by Benetton. I was google searching to see if anyone else had this connection or maybe I was going a little soft in the head. Lol high school was a long time ago.

    Re Youth Dew- my great grandmother wore it and the smell makes me sick to my stomach. It’s VERY heavy and brown in the bottle and one day I was sleeping over at her house when I was about eight and I put some of it on and was nauseous all day. It took me a while to connect it was the perfume that made me feel that way. I love Estée Lauder perfumes but what was she thinking there?!?!?

    Now a days I have perfumes for occasions.
    Beautiful Love is light and perfect for date night
    Clinque Happy is perfect for every day
    Estée by Estée Lauder is her signature fragrance very old school and when I wear it people stop me on the street to smell me. It’s very fun and because it’s so old no one wears it which make me unique.

    Re why old ladies seem to wear a lot of scent. When you wear the same perfume for years you actually get desensitized to it. Your brain gets used to the smell so you have to put on more and more to get the same smell for yourself. My mom wears the same perfume my whole life and when she puts it on you can smell it outside of the house but when I smell it on her or anyone else it instantly makes me smile and want home.

    • That’s so great! I love your stories. That makes sense about being desensitized. I think it’s so crazy that some people only wear one perfume! I rotate a lot and usually have 5 on my dresser. I love Clinique Happy. That’s a good one. I’ll have to check out Estee. If I can find it!

      I like Poppy as well. Funny that it reminds you of Benneton! Very 80’s, right? 🙂

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