Words: Lauren Carbran
As I write this, I have 35 days until I get married. Eeeeeeeek! And with such a short time to go before the big day, the final plans have been put in place, my dress is on its last round of alterations, and I’ve chosen my floral bouquet (whoop whoop). But you’ll never guess which was one of the hardest decisions for me. Choosing my bridal scent – yep, I kid you not! With perfume testing being a part of my everyday job, you’d have thought it would have been easy…
But it wasn’t. Deciding on the fragrance to wear on my wedding day kept me up at night. Did I want to wear my everyday classic, which my partner knows and loves – and would totally recognise when I walked down the aisle? Or should I opt for a totally new scent, so that in years to come, whenever I smell it, I’ll be reminded of my big day? I started to investigate.
Speaking to leading fragrance experts in the industry didn’t make my decision any easier.
‘The perfume a bride chooses to wear on her big day needs to be a completely new discovery – something that has never been worn before and so has no relation to any memory or feeling that has gone before,’ says world-famous perfumer Roja Dove. ‘Choosing the right perfume for your wedding day is as important as finding the perfect dress. It’s a choice people will reminisce about and remember long after the wedding.’
When I met up with Nick Gilbert, director of fragrance consultancy Olfiction, he told me the exact opposite. ‘When you’re choosing a wedding-day scent, it can be tempting to go on a quest to find the new, perfect fragrance, but ultimately it might not be recognised as you by your significant other,’ he says. ‘So it might turn out that after smelling hundreds of perfumes, the perfect wedding-day fragrance is your signature scent. The last thing you need on your wedding day is anything that throws you off, so using the scent you wear every day is a way to help ground you and also smell like you. Your partner will also enjoy the familiarity, and, of course, the fragrance will take on more meaning for you as you create a beautiful new memory around it linked to that special day.’
I began to see there was no right or wrong. All three of my bridal scent contenders had a different, special meaning to me…
I’ve been wearing this since 2013, when it launched. It’s my everyday scent, so it’s certainly a main contender for my wedding day. I obsess over the blend of vanilla, rose and mandarin oil, which are so feminine and sweet. And I was wearing it on the day I met my hubby-to-be, so it’s a match made in heaven.
Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure
This one is more of a recent favourite, but I’m totally in love with it. There’s always a mini version of it in my handbag and one on my desk for daily top-ups. The notes of orange blossom and jasmine keep me feeling fresh and energised, and I know I’d get loads of compliments if I wore this perfume on my wedding day. It’s just SO me! Spoiler alert: the rose notes totally match my bridal bouquet…
Chloé Love Story Eau Sensuelle
I can SO imagine walking down the aisle wearing this. Chloé Love Story Eau Sensuelle is my go-to scent for date nights and elegant events. It’s super-romantic and reminds me of our own love story when my partner and I first met on holiday – cheesy but true! And I love the notes of orange blossom, passion flower and musk. Beautiful.
So how did I make my final decision? Good question. I blind-tested each scent (even though I’m totally familiar with each one), then envisaged myself walking down the aisle. The answer was clear: it was Chloé Love Story Eau Sensuelle, a scent close to my heart. It reminds me of the adventures my fiancé and I have shared so far and would be the perfect scent to remember the biggest day of our lives.
But should I really sacrifice my fave scents? No way! My plan? To wear Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure at breakfast on the morning after the big day (I’ll need a spritz of icy freshness) and Armani Si on our honeymoon in the USA and Mexico.
The perfect outcome.