The summer before I started my first year of teaching, I worked in retail— at Anthropologie, to be exact. And as most Anthro-lovers reading this are currently thinking, yes– I mostly did it for the discounts! If you’ve set foot inside Anthropologie before, you know that there’s many things about its ambiance that really inspire and cultivate a sense of art in what you’re looking at. The textures of the clothes, the scent of Blue Volcano wafting as you pass by, the art fixtures the visual directors just finished installing– it’s no wonder many people akin Anthro to a museum of sorts!
While I was working there, I was saving up for one purchase in particular: Tocca perfume. I waited for a perfume sale to happen (employees get great discounts on clothes, but you had to wait for special times for the beauty and home accessories to go on a big sale) and bought my beloved bottle of Florence. I had been spritzing it on myself from the tester bottle at the start of every shift, and now it was mine! When I bought Florence I wasn’t even engaged yet, but I knew this was going to be my wedding perfume. I loved the elegant name, the bottle, and obviously the smell. And because I knew it was going to be photographed on my wedding day and I wanted it to look full, I only used it sparingly until my wedding.
The day before my wedding, I got my nails done with my mom, sister, and best friends. One of my friends Mallory pulled me aside and gave me a present. In it was a small vial of perfume- Love Story by Chloe. She explained how scent is one of our strongest triggers for memory, and how she wanted me to have a strong association with a brand new scent for my wedding day. She obviously had no clue about how long I had been planning on wearing my other perfume, but Mal made sure that I knew she wouldn’t be offended if I didn’t use Love Story on my wedding. I thanked her and put it in my bag for later.
Somewhere between the sleepless night before my wedding and that wedding morning, I decided to throw caution to the wind and wear Love Story for my wedding day perfume. I continued to use it throughout our honeymoon the following week, and loved that I now had an unexpected new signature scent.
I went and bought a big bottle of it after I got home from my honeymoon!
Months later after we had returned from our honeymoon and were back into life’s normal routine, I was getting ready for a date night and decided to spritz on Love Story since I hadn’t worn it in awhile. Almost immediately, I was thrust back into our Key Biscayne honeymoon. So why do smells bring us back so easily? Scent is processed by the olfactory bulb that is located directly next to the amygdala and hippocampus which is where emotion and memory are held in our brains. That’s why one whiff of Victoria Secret’s Love Spell brings you back to your middle school gym locker room! Pretty cool!
What started as an “okay, I guess I’ll use this perfume for my wedding day” has now become my smell, the one that I will use for the rest of my marriage and life. My grandma’s scent was Beautiful by Estee Lauder. My mom’s is Beyond Paradise. And Love Story is mine. So whatever scent you go with, know that it will be linked to the memory of one of the most important days of your life, bringing you back to “I do” with just one spritz!