It’s interesting that certain smells, like songs, have the ability to catapult us back in time. I can outline every stage in my life with a scent, and pinpoint specific ages to the perfumes I used to and still wear.
Chanel Chance is me at as a young girl, lying on my Nan’s bed watching her reflection in her dressing table mirror as she put on her shimmering eyeshadow and pink-coloured lipstick. She resembled everything that was happy and charming in the world with a cracking sense of humour and sensitivity that few people have. She’d spray Chanel on her left wrist and twist it in with her right, brush the remainder on her neck and smile at me. The smell filled her house, comforting me on every visit.
Calvin Klein One is me with my auntie on the days when I used to visit my cousins and play all day in the street. One of my childhood role models, always smiling and always the centre of any laughter in a given conversation. I thought she was perfect and just like any other self-respecting sheep would do: I copied her.
Calvin Klein Euphoria is me during Sixth Form. I needed a more “mature” perfume so I asked my mum to buy me this perfume and I wore it for 2 years straight. It reminds me of the high and the low times; the results and the break-ups, not just my first love but friends too; wearing it is always bittersweet.
Marc Jacobs Lola is my distinctive scent. It’s on a par with Chance. This scent carried me through my university years; every party, every seminar and every lunch with my friends. It’s a happy smell; one of promise and one of discovering the world. It reminds me of making life-long friends, looking at the world from a different light, an academic light and studying towards my future.
If Chance and Lola are my distinctive scents then Calvin Klein Summer is my playful side. This citrus scent reminds me of being young, being happy and being me. It reminds me of sleeping in fields with my friends having a cheeky picnic then a water fight. It reminds me of first dates and exciting dinners. It reminds me of trips to Birmingham, Manchester, London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. It makes me want to take on adventures.
It’s also the most basic of scents these days — smells, really — that catapult me back in time, like the damp smell after a downpour and seaside air.
More than anything I wish I could bottle the smell of my current boyfriend. It makes me feel safe and secure, sometimes that’s all you need.