If there's ever a time we want to remember vividly, a memory we want lingering in our minds forever, surely for most of us will be our wedding day. Distinct smells and scents have the ability to conjure up such memories quite vividly and instantly, this has a name actually – 'associative learning.' In perfume terms it is when a scent triggers a detailed memory or even an intense emotion linked to our individual past experience, via our olfactory function (our sense of smell.)
When it comes to our weddings, we often place so much emphasis on what we want our celebrations to look like that we can easily forget the not so small matter of how to set the scene in terms of scents. Taking the time to incorporate this element into your planning can truly enhance the overall atmosphere of your special day.
Wedding scents these days are no longer just the spritz of a fragrance on the bride's neck. Achieving the desired atmosphere when it comes to smells means thinking about centrepiece, flower decorations, catering, bouquet arrangements, party favours and now even bridal and bridesmaid accessories.
But don't be intimidated! With good planning your wedding will be a sumptuous affair of tastes, smells, textures and colours so that for the rest of your life whenever the unexpected hint of that special perfume or flower wafts over to, you'll be transported straight back to that special moment – that's the magic of scents!
Let's look at ways in which to set the scent scene…
Bridal Scents & Sensibility:
The planning of any wedding is universally daunting and stressful and it's not unusual for the bride or groom in the midst of wedding mania to completely forget themselves when it comes to scent – top tip, make sure you are on the top of your checklist! As a bride or groom, you may want something romantic and light or darker and playful, this is of course your prerogative though research shows most bridal parties look mainly for longevity in their scents when it comes to the big day. Here are Master Perfumer Rajiv Sheth's top three tips on choosing that flawless wedding fragrance for you and your bridal party:
- Layer! Of course, you can top up your scent throughout the celebrations by taking your perfume with you, however a good way to layer for longevity is to use (within the same scent products) the body lotion (soft skin bonus!) and shower crème when you are getting ready.
- Choose something in advance of the event and make sure you know how it feels and smells on your skin. Think about if it synchronizes well with your body’s unique chemistry. Will your scent harmonize or overpower? Also remember to test your perfume’s stamina – can the scent last dancing with your guests all night for example?
- Go classic! It’s all about the classic perfume for your wedding day, the one that never goes out of style. Keep in mind this will be the scent that will forever bring up these special memories at key times throughout your life; try not to overwear the scent after your wedding, save your fragrance for special occasions only.
Your wedding will be a sumptuous affair of tastes, smells, textures and colours so that for the rest of your life whenever the unexpected hint of that special perfume or flower wafts over to, you'll be transported straight back to that special moment – that's the magic of scents!
Flowers and Mood:
Choosing the right flowers depends greatly upon the mood you are trying to evoke and the wedding space and area you have. Start with listing out all your themes, don't limit yourself- you never know when inspiration will find you! Once you have your mood-board ready, start linking the potential aromas that you think would work best for each mood and area:
- Welcoming guests into a closed or covered area verses an open one.
- What foods and beverages will be served in this space?
- Should the settings be grand or limited to a particular area. For example, fresh flowers at the entrance or scented candles just around the couple’s sitting area.
Ensure this is an ensemble and not a random assortment. Think about the best way in which to synchronize with the juxtaposition of your own scent and what you enjoy the most.
For example, you might have a more exotic theme in mind, reminiscent of the warm beach you got engaged on; exotic flora like Roses and lush greens would work well in this setting. You could match these with deep and rich dishes in catering and then carry on the scent trajectory using hints of the same flora in garlands and/or other floral decorations.
Or you may have a garden wedding, a space in which may already be abundant in white Peonies or blooming Jasmine – light fragrant Spring dishes would harmonise well for your reception meal on this occasion, set off the scent scene with romantic bouquets of berry notes in your bridal party's perfume choice.
Whichever mood you wish to conjure when it comes to your wedding celebrations, be sure to infuse harmony in the smells, colours, textures and tastes. Enhancing your wedding in these subtle ways can make all the difference.
And then one fine day in the future when something divine smelling suddenly sparks the memory of your beautiful wedding in your mind, you can smile and slip back for a brief moment of blissful nostalgia.