Every year, throughout June as a symbol of solidarity, rainbow flags are flown freely around the world. These rainbow flags are, of course, a symbol of Pride – a recognition and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.
Pride events, which began as a commemoration to the 1969 Stonewell Uprising in New York, a pivotal movement for the LGBTQ+ community, are thrown every year and usually include parades, festivals, rallies, and parties. The exuberant and fun-filled events also provide a vital 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 design a symbol for their community. The first version of Baker’s flag, which he revealed for the first time at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day parade on June 25th, 1978, featured eight coloured stripes, with each colour having a unique meaning.
The very first flags were handmade by Baker and a team of volunteers, but for everyone to enjoy his creation, Baker had to mass-produce it. When production issues arose, he removed the hot-pink and turquoise stripes and replaced them with indigo and 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 is flown 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 representation for this than a unisex scent.
We’re dipping into our niche (and everyone must try) collection to showcase Piccadilly 69 by Jack Perfume. Created by Richard E. Grant and inspired by a life of being led by his nose, Piccadilly 69 takes you on an olfactory exploration to tell the tale of Grant’s first experience of Piccadilly, London, when just 12 years old. He’s taken the distinctive aroma of traffic lined streets, his heady memories of patchouli perfumed hippies, and the complementary notes of earl grey and well-worn leather to create a highly addictive and eye-opening unisex Eau de Parfum.
Orange represents Healing
Pride may be one of the most joyous events in the calendar, but it also serves as a reminder of how far the community has come. The orange stripe represents healing, and for those within the LGBTQ+ community, this meaning will sit close to their hearts. There are many ways in which people seek to elevate a healing process, but we fragrance fans, we often turn to the powers of aromatherapy.
Citrus notes can alleviate feelings of happiness and reduce moments of stress, so this Pride, 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
The beautiful and bright yellow doesn’t just mean sunlight, it has a second message too – it encourages people to come out, be themselves and to come out of 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 the spirit, is Empowered by ME.; a genderless fragrance that inspires you to conquer the day, be fearless and to awaken the very best version that lives inside you!