“Thomas AKA The Candy Perfume Boy takes you on a journey around the fragrance world with ‘The Escentual A-Z of Fragrance’ a fun and fragrant ride that gives you all you need to know – the notes, the brands and the perfumers – to become a true fragrance addict/nerd”
J is for Joy…
It is an undeniable fact that scent brings joy. Take a moment to imagine a world void of smell, where everything we encounter – sights, sounds and feelings – lack the depth gifted to them by our most primal of senses. Our favourite experiences would be nothing more than flat, 2D encounters in a half-world where the spark of true joy is lost.
We can take pleasure from the simplest of smelly encounters; the intense smell of a rose bush or the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans, for example. One of my favourite ‘simple’ smells is the cool, vanillic scent of cardboard singing from the racking within the Warehouse at work. It’s not something I get to experience often but when I do ensure I make the most of it, walking slowly to drink in the quiet hum of thousands of boxes.
Sometimes smell can lift an ordinary experience into the extraordinary. One of my most vivid and joyous scent memories happened on a stifling hot summers day, you know the type – when the sun is hidden by a greenhouse of dark clouds that amplify the heat, replacing the air with muggy, invisible smog. I was at work trying my absolute best not to expire in the heat when all of a sudden; almost as if the sky couldn’t take it anymore, a torrential downpour broke through the clouds.
Many things were wonderful about this incident; the instant relief from the closeness and the sound of the rain, but it was the smell of the warm drops of rain meeting the raging heat of the tarmac that made the experience so memorable. The smell of the electric zing in the air and burned rubber of the concrete is something I will never forget and long to experience again.
Perfume too brings joy, whether it be the confidence and empowerment that comes with Serge Lutens’ Féminité du Bois or the olfactory snapshot of a summer garden, buzzing with life captured in Guerlain’s Lys Soleia, a small bottle of scented liquid can hold the key to a wealth of joy-filled experiences.
Our most important scented memories are tied to the fragrances that made them. I for one cannot smell Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Mâle without thinking of my formative years along with the teenage angst and pain of unrequited loves that come with them. Other scent memories however, are filled with joy, take Guerlain Homme for example, a perfume filled with happy memories of my brother’s wedding in Poland.
Nostalgia is but one of the many joys perfume has to offer, there is of course the pleasure of the art itself. As a perfume nerd the biggest part of the fun is trying the new and the exciting, and there are many brands out there pushing the envelope, proving that the art of perfume isn’t stale – brands such as Etat Libre d’Orange, CB I Hate Perfume, Amouage and Thierry Mugler.
We are incredibly fortunate to live in a world awash with scent and for that we should be truly grateful. After all, a world without the joy of smell sounds pretty awful, doesn’t it?
What smells and perfumes bring you Joy?