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Scent & Memory : Time Travel In A Bottle

Posted by Lucy Mellon on


A friend was tasked with creating a new scent for the brand she worked at. When she asked me to come over and give her feedback on some of the scent notes she wanted to combine into a new perfume, I was riveted. I always thought I’d be quite good as ‘a nose’ – the term the industry uses to describe people whose job it is to create perfumes.

I sat at my friend’s kitchen table and stared with delight at an enormous box of tiny glass vials with little white labels. A whole world of olfactory flavors awaited my sampling and I was ready for the magic to begin.



"What does this smell make you think of?” she asked waving a tiny vial under my nose.

Without a second’s hesitation, I knew exactly!

“The cotton handkerchief at the bottom of my grandmother’s purse.”

“And this…?”

 “A wet dog.”

The surprising revelation was that many of the notes were decidedly unpleasant - but introduced in the right proportion to other more conventional notes, they created a beautiful complexity that wasn’t possible from combining pleasant smells alone. Ahhh life! Your patterns repeat themselves in all things.

Perfume is part of a global legacy – our human legacy even. The first use of perfume is credited to Egyptians, adopted by Persians, and transformed into an art form by the Greeks and Romans. But it wasn’t until its introduction to Parisian society, that it was transformed into the industry we know today. 

All the splendid perfume bottles created through the ages hinted at the near-magic of the elixirs they contained, and their ability to do everything from igniting passion, to ‘time travel’ into distant memories.


Here’s a list of the scents special to US. We’d love to hear what your favorite smells are.

Stella McCartney, Rose Absolute. An intense rose fragrance layered with amber undertones.

Philosophy, Amazing Grace. A floral scent evoking a soft, clean, and feminine feel.

Burberry, Touch for women. Fruity and vibrant scents with warmth provided by cedarwood and oak moss.

Jo Malone, Nutmeg & Ginger. Sandalwood and cedarwood base topped with hints of nutmeg and ginger.

Fresh, Honeysuckle. A crisp floral scent, that captures the stirring scent of honeysuckle in a bottle.

Slumberhouse, Pear & Olive. Unique blend of the sweetness of a pear layered with the richness of olive and massoia bark.

Hermes, Eau de pamplemousse rose. Radiant blend of fresh grapefruit and rose petals. 

Amouage, Epic Woman. A sensuous blend of spice and floral.

 *Application tip: Perfumes are expressed best when applied to pulse points, refrain from rubbing wrists together, and allow the scent to settle.


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