Creating Memories Through A Scent:
Specific scents have an incredible ability to conjure up special memories completely out of the blue. A magical touch, fragrance creates scent memories that can last forever and Summer seems a particularly special time for this.
Currently using luxury Ancienne Ambiance Diffusers and Summer Candles to add seasonal scent indulgence, Bacca Berry is a fresh fruity number while Damask Rose makes me think of a garden in bloom. I’m probably biased as I adore all Ancienne Ambiance scents and each one definitely has that special memory making touch.
I spoke to Stephan Matthews, Perfume Writer and Industry Consultant, asking for his expert take on scent awakening magical memories…
Which scent evokes the strongest scent memory for you?
The aroma that holds the deepest memory is actually an ingredient, but I only worked that out many years later. I vividly remember the scent of my mother when I would hug her. She always smelled of a powdery warmth that had a hint of sweetness and, whatever perfume she was wearing, it always had this similarity. I realised when I started training that I was actually smelling nitro-musk, a synthetic equivalent to real musk. It is no longer used in perfumery due to ecological concerns but, when ingredients combine in a certain way, I am still transported back to my childhood.
Why do you think fragrance has such an inextricable link to our memories?
It is often said that fragrance is the primary link to memory but I’m going to disagree. Yes, fragrance does transport you back in an almost instantaneous way but there are so many other stimuli for our memories. My mother used to collect glass ornaments and so whenever I see one I am instantly transported back to our sitting room with all of the implanted scents. I recently bought one of the La Soufflerie glass heads at Ancienne Ambiance for exactly that reason. So, whether it is fabric or fragrance, revel in the memories.
How can scent offer a wellbeing boost?
It’s long been accepted that certain scents appear to cause certain reactions but it’s important for you to test this for yourself. Citrus scents tend to have an uplifting quality, and so having these in diffusers can help to welcome you into a space with a positivity, whereas floral scents can lead you to feel relaxed and contented, although I find that these work better as fragrances. However, beware the lavender! This troublesome aroma does not always offer the relaxation that many people believe that it will. For example, I associate the camphorous quality that you get from the ingredient with the scent of a fire and so, by association, it engages me rather than relaxes me. It was such an overused ingredient for such a very long time that your memory often overtakes your senses.
What tips do you have for creating some Summery scent memories with fragrance this season?
If you’re looking to make memories inside your home then I would advise you to think “where and when.” During the Summer I always turn to diffusers because a flame seems to enhance an already heated environment. For example, in my sitting room I have Ancienne Ambiance’s Cedar Diffuser because I love the constant crispness and dryness of the wood; it offers me a retreat from the hectic outdoors. When it comes to creating Summer memories with perfume there is only one piece of advice that I would give … keep it light! A heavy fragrance will linger for the entire day but a lighter, more effervescent scent can be topped up or replaced as needed.