Written by: Emily Venables
Every year, throughout the month of June, beautiful rainbow flags can be seen flying freely around the world. The rainbow flag is, of course, the symbol of Pride.
Pride events, which began as a commemoration to the 1969 Stonewell Uprising in New York, a pivotal movement in the LGBTQ+ community, are thrown every year and usually include parades, festivals, rallies, and parties. The vivacious, glitter and fun-filled events also provide an important platform for the community to promote self-affirmation, equality, and increased visibility for lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer or questioning and trans people.
The rainbow flag is a symbol of the LGBTQ+ movement and today, in celebration of Pride month we’re taking a closer look at the rainbow stripes, the meaning of each colour and some sensational scents to match.
The History of the Rainbow Flag
The Rainbow Flag was created in 1978 by Gilbert Baker, an openly gay San Francisco based artist and drag queen, who was urged by local activist Hervey Milk to create a symbol for their community. The first version of Baker’s flag featured eight coloured stripes, with each colour having its own meaning; it was revealed for the first time at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade on June 25th, 1978.
The very first flags were handmade by Baker and a team of volunteers, but in order for everyone to enjoy his creation, Baker had to mass produce it. Production issues arose and the hot-pink and turquoise stripes had to be removed and indigo was replaced by blue. This decision resulted in the six striped flag we see most commonly today and includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The flag is now a universal symbol for LGBTQ+ pride and can be seen flying proudly all around the world.
The colours, their meanings & a scent to match
Red represents Life
At the top of the flag sits the red stripe representing life. The LGBTQ+ community, amongst many other things, stands for unity and acceptance so we couldn’t think of a better scent to represent the red stipe better than CK Everyone by Calvin Klein. The freshly scented, gender-less fragrance celebrates the infinite freedom of self-expression, and if there is one place where self-expression is not only celebrated, but actively encouraged, it’s at a Pride event!
Orange represents Healing
Pride may be one of the most jubilant events in the calendar, but it also serves as a reminder of how far the community has come. The representation of healing in the orange stripe will sit close to the hearts of many who have dealt with hate, prejudice or even heartbreak.
Healing can be sought in many forms, but as fragrance lovers we can’t ignore the power of aromatherapy! Citrus notes can alleviate feelings of happiness and relieve stress, so this June we will be reaching for Inis by Inis, an ocean-inspired unisex fragrance that’s just like a breath of fresh (sea) with its blend of zesty and marine notes.
Yellow represents Sunlight
Yellow doesn’t just mean sunlight, it has a message too – it encourages people to come out, be themselves and to not feel like they need to hide in the shadows. This poignant message needs a bright, illuminating scent to accompany it so we have selected Tom Ford’s Eau de Soleil Blanc - a sparkling fresh, unisex fragrance that embodies the feeling of sunshine gleaming off open waters.
Green represents Nature
The colour green and nature go hand in hand and for outdoor enthusiasts, there is nothing like layering yourself with an earthy scent to help you feel closer to mother nature. A few sprays of Peppered Earth by The Perfume Edit (created exclusively for The Perfume Shop) will envelop you in the same feels you get when embarking on a long walk or strolls in the fresh air.
Blue represents Serenity
At Pride everyone is welcome; the sounds of music, laughter and love fill the streets! There is an overwhelming sense of community, unity, and vibrancy. With this feeling comes harmony and serenity and the vital stripe of blue. Embody this feeling with a spritz of Santal Sky by KIERIN NYC, an intimate, thoughtful scent that encourages you to feel the sun on your face and the love of your friends!
Violet represents Spirit
The spirit of Pride is magical; it’s an opportunity to reconnect with friends, meet new people, stand side by side with a community, a chance to remember the past which paved the way for LGBTQ+ people of today, and of course it’s a reminder to love yourself and love others too!
Our last scent, to represent spirit, is Memiore by Gucci; a genderless fragrance that explores memories, tells the story of a free-spirited family, and encourages you to live freely and make memories!
Celebrate Pride with bold, bright & beautiful scents
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