Perfume Memory

Perfume Memory is that little known, but often felt, phenomenon. It’s when a smell gives you the power to time-travel and takes you to memories long past.

This morning I wore a perfume I’ve not worn in a while. Vera Wang Princess is staple in many scent arsenals but it’s been a good few months since I spritzed myself with it. As well as a reunion with a favourite fragrance, I also experienced the most intense wave of perfume memory, a phenomenon I think is well worth documenting.

All morning I was thinking of London. Despite being on the bus, slowly moving through dreary Stafford, I couldn’t get my old London commute off my mind. At first I thought it was just a good mood, then perhaps the work I’d be getting up to later. Suddenly it hit me – the smell. During my internship in London, I wore Vera Wang Princess every single day, the perfume I’m now wearing for the first time in months.

I don’t know how long you need to wear a perfume for it to be infused with a memory. For Princess, it clearly took just a month to cement its association with Barnes in my mind. Every time I’ve caught a whiff of myself today I’ve felt much more cosmopolitan, ambitious and confident… which is certainly no bad thing!

Scent plays such a big part in how we experience the world. Whether it’s the comfort you feel when you cuddle your partner or your favourite food being cooked, certain smells change our moods in an instant more than any other sense. My dogs stink to high heaven, but the smile their waft puts on my face just can’t be beaten!

I’ve definitely experienced perfume memory before. My first perfume is still a favourite and every spray reminds me of nights out in my late teens. I guess Princess will now have a similar effect in reminding about my first steps into the world of work!

Which smells and fragrances bring up memories for you?

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