Glass celebrates National Fragrance Day with our #Scentmemories

ESTABLISHED by the Fragrance Foundation, National Fragrance Day celebrates the most subtle, yet powerful, sense – smell. Taking place on March 21, the Fragrance Foundation invites everyone to celebrate the mystery, beauty and charm of fragrance and to share their own personal scent memories, using the hashtag #ScentMemories across social media

As writer and co-founder of the Perfume Society Jo Fairley says, “And really, who needs a time machine, when you’ve scent in your life …?”

FIFI Scent Memories

Here Glass fashion and beauty writers share with you some of their evocative #ScentMemories

What are yours? Tell them here.

The Dockworkers Fragrance illustration by Tyler CooksonThe Dockworkers. Illustration by Tyler Cookson

As a ‘70s child my nostalgic #ScentMemories lean towards the industrial. If I could make my own fragrance, it would have notes of salt water, oil, iron, sweat and fully-leaded petrol – the smell of a busy dock and the deck of a cargo ship. Add in some mass-market aftershave and a good tobacco note, along with a spritz of Opium, Babe or Aqua Manda perfume, and that’s the scent of my childhood – motormen and mess-girls out on shore-leave after a long watch.

PS It strikes me that my own children might become nostalgic for the antiseptic and disinfectant smells of an NHS hospital, if we don’t fight to protect them, as we never did with our merchant navy and dockworkers!

by Rachel McCormack


Growing up in the ‘70s,  my #ScentMemories are the earthy woody musky Tweed by Lentheric that my mother received as a Christmas present every year; and the Hamlet cigars – a rich, ripe scent that I still love  – smoked by my father, both these gifts being ritual seasonal treats. I also remember Tramp, Charlie and Rive Gauche wafting around the air  – ubiquitous in a way fragrance isn’t nowadays.

My own perfumed journey began, at the age of 14 or so, with a cucumber cleanser brought from The Body Shop in Chichester (one of the trailblazing Anita Roddick’s first stores) when visiting my best friend and neighbour, Annie, whose family had recently upped sticks along the south coast from outside Portsmouth to West Wittering, West Sussex. I adored my friend with an intensity only felt and understood by teenage girls  and was heartbroken she had left our small town (which was actually more of a backwater).

I loved the subtle green hue of this Body Shop cleansing cream with its fresh sweet bright and tastily fragranced cucumber scent and the Art Deco-inspired font handwritten appearance of the label on its nattily refillable bottle giving it a homemade vibe.

Despite my teenage hippy-punk attempts at cool posturings – well, as much as a south coast sub-urbanite could muster, there being no internet then, you had to go and seek out your counterculture – with the default scent of choice being sticky oily patchouli sold in headshops  – the first perfume that I fell for was Christian Dior’s Diorissimo purchased from a small chemist-stroke-perfumery  – again in  Chichester – a much more sophisticated place (in my adolescent view) than my parochial hometown.

I was mesmerised by Diorissimo’s lyrical Lily of the Valley freshness and drawn to its pure unadulterated femininity and its black and white Prince of Wales houndstooth and pink accented packaging that was just so stylish and chic. Little did I know, that Diorissimo is regarded as a modern classic, created as it was by legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska. It was just the prettiest scent my young nose had ever encountered.

by Caroline Simpson


Memories of Mum dolled up for a night out. illustration by Tyler CooksonMemories of mum with a perm. Illustration by Tyler Cookson


There’s a gorgeous little perfume shop in Dulwich, South London, called Roullier White which I love. They have really unusual things that you can’t buy elsewhere. This is where I found Tabu. My mum wore it in the ‘80s, so I bought two bottles. The scent took me straight back to mum’s bed room of pine furniture and peach bed covers, a ‘70s dressing table and my lovely mum with a perm.

by Kim Brown



White blossoms. illustration by Tyler CooksonWhite blossoms. Illustration by Tyler Cookson

I remember working for Aquascutum on Regent Street in their Men’s Design Department back in the late ‘80s with an amazing team. Our creative director was Marianne Abrahams who was married to Gerald Abrahams, the son of the founder of Aquascutum, who ran the business at that time. She was very beautiful and glamorous. But what I recall so vividly was that whenever she visited our studio, you could smell this wonderful, distinctive and feminine fragrance, which I discovered was Fracas Eau de Parfum by Robert Piquet.

In those days, it was only available to buy in Paris, but luckily it can now be purchased in London, so my dressing table is never without the black enamel bottle of Fracas – and my memories of Mrs A and the friends I made there.

by Amanda Bernstein


Chanel No5, I strongly associate this perfume with my mum – it’s her signature scent. It’s the only thing she ever asks my dad for for Christmas, and looks forward to seeing the classic perfume boxed in classic black and white packaging, decorated and placed delicately under the tree. It’s the one luxury she insists upon.
Every time she finished a bottle she’d give to me the old, golden-tinged glass perfume bottle containing the last little drop and I’d hold it close and feel an overwhelming sense of comfort that my mother was there.
I’d then envisage her dressed up with my dad, looking gorgeously glamorous and ready to enjoy a special evening together. As she would come to give me a goodnight kiss and cuddle, leaving me in the hands of my grandmother for the evening, I’d always remember the lingering scent of Chanel No5 as I drift off to sleep.
by Annabelle Hursey
Shalimar. illustration by Tyler CooksonShalimar by Guerlain. Illustration by Tyler Cookson
There are two scents which summon significant memories and transport me to another place and time. Coco by Chanel takes me into my mother’s arms, seeing her off hesitantly after she had dolled up for a night out. I have an old bottle of hers with a dribble of the sweet stuff inside. I don’t use it as it’s probably gone off by now but whenever I’m feeling slightly downtrodden I give the atomiser a sniff and I’m right as rain again.

The second scent is Shalimar by Guerlain. I came into possession of this classic fragrance in duty free before jetting off to the Dominican Republic on holiday. Every time I get a whiff of it I’m spirited right back to the Caribbean. Ironic, seeing as Jacques Guerlain created Shalimar in 1925 with the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore in mind, but as it’s the first oriental fragrance in history, it’s exotic at heart.

by Liam Feltham


Growing up, I always associated women wearing and owning powerfully defining scents. This changed in my early twenties when I quickly understood the allure of a man who wore an equally robust fragrance. My first recollection of this was smelling Diptyque’s Tam Dao on a man and while firstly recognising an attraction to his alluring scent, I more so wanted to smell the same. Ever since I have worn Tam Dao which works so well for both genders but reminds me of the importance that a good scent has for our male counterparts.

by Stephanie Clair


Ellenisia. illustration by Tyler CooksonEllenisia by Penhaligon’s. Illustration by Tyler Cookson

I first discovered Ellenisia in a tiny corner of Harvey Nichols and knew I had found just what I was looking for – a signature scent for all occasions. A wardrobe of different coats and jackets was leaving me frustrated with the remnants the few fragrances I was alternating between were leaving behind.

Ellenisia by Penhaligon’s is this ageless and timeless scent made up of heady white blossoms and sweet plums and vanilla. A single bottle at Christmas keeps me going the entire year and the only gift I ever ask for now. The real beauty of having only one fragrance is that the memories are endless. Whether it’s summer days strolling in the park or getting dressed up at Christmas, it’s the one scent that always leaves me feeling special.

by Sonia Akhter


I can still remember the hunt for my first “proper” perfume and the importance it possessed. It was a birthday present from my mum for my 16th birthday which she let me choose myself. It was as if I was on a quest to find a scent that defines me and expresses who I was, or rather who I wanted to be. I paid countless visits to Sephora in Prague to try every perfume in a bottle that aesthetically appealed to me (a very important factor), until I found the one.

It was Classique by Jean Paul Gaultier with a bottle in the shape of a woman’s figure wearing a lace corset. And even though I’ve moved on to other perfumes since then and now know you don’t have to have just one scent that defines you, every time I smell it I still love it and it makes me think of the time I used to wear it religiously.

by Sara Hesikova


A box of Hollister So Cal for Christmas. illustration by Tyler CooksonA box of Hollister So Cal for Christmas. Illustration by Tyler Cookson

The Hollister store moved into my town Southampton when I was in secondary school. The one thing people always commented on was that the whole store smelt like their signature So Cal men’s cologne. I’d never had a proper cologne before, then when I turned 17, I had some birthday money. I bought a bottle of So Cal and it became my signature almost instantly – my friends would say they knew I was coming because they’d smell me before I appeared.

Every Christmas I get a new bottle which lasts me until the next year, it’s the only true staple of my life.

by Thomas Marrington


When I was about eight years old, my family was visiting London from the US, my mom took my sister and I into Harrods. It was just the most amazing experience, being so little, and  wandering around this massive department store like it was some sort of playground. While we were walking through the fragrance section, one of the saleswomen spritzed my mother with an Escada perfume, Born in Paradise, and now whenever I smell that I always flashback to that day with my family.

Since I don’t really get to see them much at the moment, I have a small sample bottle of the perfume in my bathroom that I spray whenever I really miss my mom because it reminds me so much of getting to be with her.

by Anna Coughlan


All illustrations by Tyler Cookson

National Fragrance Day is on March 21. Share your own #Scentmemories #Scentmemory at the Fragrance Foundation’s twitter account